Tuesday, 10 October 2017

I wanted to punch a grown man in the face the other day.

I wanted to punch a grown man in the face the other day.
He'd been in a shit job  for years earning about 1,600 euros a month  , and we decided to meet up for coffee at the suggestion of a mutual professional connection.
I spent 90 minutes pouring every ounce of passion I had into this guy , coming up with at least a dozen ways he could take his personal story and work history and create a new narrative both online and in person. I showed him how he could use tools like LinkedIn to circumvent the gatekeeper system and start connecting and engaging with the actual decision makers and hiring managers of the places he wanted to work at.

The Walking Dead

The guy just slouched lower in his seat, nodding meekly as I went all Sgt. Slaughter on him. It took everything I had not to jump up, shove the table between us aside, grab him by the collar and shout: "Hey! You want something? You have to go get it! You need to hustle! You need to show a pulse! You need to personalize your approach and show others how once they hire you, they'll realize they can't live without the value and benefit you bring their business!"
By the time we were finished, I was emotionally exhausted. I might as well have been trying to motivate a mannequin. As a test, I gave the guy my card and said, "Email me, and ask me to make the introductions to the people I told you about, or to give you more advice on the job search strategies I'm telling you about, and we can go from there."
The guy never emailed.

The Land of Plenty

What makes encounters like that one all the more maddening is that we're living in a time of almost limitless opportunity.
Think about it. We now carry a portable television studio (iPhone) in our pocket. We have the ability to broadcast our own television show to the entire world for free thanks to outlets like YouTube.
We have the ability to create our own personal printing press or online company thanks to blogs and websites. (Again, for free!)
We can write and publish books on the world's largest bookstore (Amazon.com) for free in a matter of minutes.
We can locate, engage and network with leaders and decision makers at every large and small business on the planet (again, at no cost) thanks to LinkedIn.
And your excuse for being out of work or staying stuck in a job you hate is what again?

Reality Bites

Here's the deal: You are going to die.
I don't say this to be morbid, but rather to remind us all that you only get one shot to really live.
I believe you were put on this planet for a reason, and that you have a unique value and benefit to share with the rest of us - in the business world and beyond.
So why are you wasting another 24 hours sitting on the sidelines of life?
Why aren't you chasing your dreams and doing what you love?

Passion. Purpose. Persistence.

Somebody turned me onto Napoleon Hill's book Think and Grow Rich a few months back.
I was intrigued because Hill kept saying there was one simple secret behind the most successful people on the planet - men like Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and countless others.
What I discovered is that it really boils down to three things: Passion, Purpose and Persistence.
Passion is the activity we'd pay someone else to let us do, let alone doing it for a living and getting money for it.
Purpose is what we want out of life. And the more specific we can be about that, the better. Purpose also fuels Passion. As a mentor of mine likes to say, "You'll never make seven figures with six figure work habits."
Persistence is the most important of all. The life you want and the career you crave will not happen on its own.
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence," Calvin Coolidge said. "Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
Arguably the greatest - and most clutch - basketball player in NBA history is Michael Jordan, winner of six NBA titles and five league MVP awards.
Jordan got cut from his high school team as a sophomore. He missed more than 9,000 shots during his career. He lost more than 300 games.
"I've failed over and over and over again in my life," Jordan is quoted as saying. "And that is why I succeed."

Let's Make a Deal

The only thing holding you back from living the life you want and doing the work you love is you.
That's why I wanted to punch that guy in the face the other day.
Will you make me a promise? Will you share this with someone who needs a kick in the pants? (If that person is you, print this post out and keep it on your desk!)
Look, the last thing we need is one more professional working a job he or she isn't passionate about. It's bad for you, it's bad for your customers and its bad for your employer.
So get after it!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017


Astudy just appeared in Education Next, under the title “Should Professors Ban Laptops?” The study worked like this:
Researchers went to West Point and tracked students in three sections of Principles of Economics. One section was technology-free—no laptops or tablets permitted in the classroom. A second section gave students the freedom to use laptops and tablets at their discretion, with no controls or requirements. A third section was “tablet only,” a method “designed to replicate the intended use of Internet-enabled technology as a non-distracting resource during class.” The aim of this section, and of such methods generally, was to implement technology in the classroom while preventing students from hijacking it for non-academic purposes.
The experiment was run with 50 classrooms and 726 students over two terms. Each instructor, too, taught at least one no-technology section and one of the other two sections. The decisive measure was performance by students on the final exam. The results were striking—and disappointing for people who believe that better classroom technology and implementation will produce higher student achievement.
Here is the finding for unrestricted technology use relative to no technology use: Exam scores dropped by 0.18 standard deviations.
And here is the finding for restricted technology use relative to no technology use: Exam scores dropped by only slightly less, 0.17 standard deviations.
The small difference suggests that attempts to streamline classroom technology to academic purposes alone are ineffectual or, when they are effectual, indicate that something inherent in the technology is part of the problem.
When we convert the numbers to GPA measures, the finding goes like this:
[A] student in a classroom that prohibits computers is on equal footing with a peer who is in a class that allows computers and whose GPA is one-third of a standard deviation higher—nearly the difference between a B+ and an A- average, for example.
There is more. When the researchers broke the sample up into subgroups by race, gender, college-entrance exam scores, and high school GPA, “in no group did students appear to significantly benefit from access to computers in the classroom.”
The findings support those of us who have banned technology from our classrooms for many years. We have been called “Luddites,” people captive to “moral panics,” and get-off-my-lawn curmudgeons. Just the other day, in a puerile defense of Twitter and texting as writing platforms in the Wall Street Journal, an English teacher referred to people who bemoan the writing that takes place on social media as “schoolmarms.” (The piece stands behind a paywall.)
But while the pro-technology innovators have typically cast traditionalists as hidebound and unempirical people caught up in myths and anxiety, the truth is the opposite. Technology enthusiasts are the real ideologues in this debate (and a lot of them make a whole lot of money on the wiring of schools). The empirical evidence against computers in the classroom is mounting (the Education Next article reviews several other studies).
At the very least, the jury is out on the value of computer-assisted instruction. Some day we may have evidence of genuine academic advancement arising from the outfitting of classrooms and students with the latest devices, which cost millions of dollars. Until then, teachers should draw back, return to pencil and paper and chalkboards, and determine for themselves whether the promises of digital instruction are just so much hot air.

Avocado e salmone affumicato

Avocado e salmone affumicato
Numero di porzioni: 2 porzioni
Tempi di preparazione: 20 Minuti
Tempi di cottura: 5 Minuti
Pronto in: 25 Minuti
Difficoltà: Facile
Calorie: 386 Kcal (1 servizio)
- 1 piccolo avocado
- 80 gr salmone affumicato
- 1 limone
- 3 cucchiai di olio evo
- Insalata per guarnire
- sale pepe
Sbucciare l'avocado togliere il nocciolo e tagliarlo nel senso della lunghezza irrorando ogni fetta con succo di limone. Alternare l'avocado con le fettine di salmone.
Emulsionare l'olio con 2 cucchiai di succo di limone, aggiungere un po' di scorza tagliata a julienne, e regolare di sale e pepe. Condire l'avocado, e guarnire con foglie di insalata

look better

get your face in shape

Forget Botox! 4 Ways for You to Look and Feel Young
It’s no secret that women and men alike are constantly searching for the “fountain of youth” with the latest beauty products and cosmetic treatments that are available. Naturally, everyone wants to look and feel young. Although an increasing number of people are relying on Botox to stay young, there are a number of other ways to reduce the effects of aging for more natural features. Here are 4 ways for you to look and feel young.
1. Use a Honey Masques
Honey is a natural product that works to reduce the size of pores and firm the skin, while also reducing the appearance of sunspots that may be visible. The honey also helps to remove infectious microbes that can lead to breakouts and wrinkles for an incredible way of reducing the signs of aging within minutes.
2. Apply a Night Cream
To enhance the elasticity of your skin and restore lost collagen, it’s important to use a night cream that can soak into the pores overnight. Use the Resurgence Night Regime for a hydrating product that allows skin to look younger and smoother by improving the firmness by 42 percent.
3. Use Supplements on the Skin
Instead of undergoing Botox, natural supplements can have the same effect on the skin by infusing the pores with vitamins. Apply retinol, madecassol, and vitamin C serum to stimulate collagen growth and plump the skin for a natural look that still allows your facial muscles to have mobility with your expressions. The natural supplements are healthy for the pores and will prevent infusing your skin with toxins that can be hazardous to your health and beauty.
4. Use Sunblock
One of the most effective ways to protect your skin from sun damage and prevent wrinkles is by applying sunblock each day, which you can make at home for a natural recipe. You can also use cosmetics that contain SPF to protect your natural glow from UVA or UVB rays and allow your skin to stay hydrated when spending time outdoors  

Beta carotene is found in dark green and yellow-orange vegetables such as carrots and cantaloupe melon. It is one of a family of naturally occurring nutrients called carotenoids, 60 of which occur in food. Beta carotene is considered to be one of the most important carotenoids because it can be converted by the body into vitamin A as and when required.

Each Healthspan tablet contains 7mg of natural beta carotene, which is in line with the Department of Health’s maximum recommended intake for safe consumption.
Carotene originates from the Latin word for carrot and refers to organic compounds which give plants and vegetables their yellow/orange pigment. There are around 60 carotenes found in food.Beta carotene is considered most vital for health as it is a provitamin. This means the body can convert it into vitamin A, which is essential for many biological processes and could help strengthen the immune system. Sweet potatoes, carrots and spinach are rich sources of beta carotene.
  • What does it do?

    Beta carotene produces the highest levels of vitamin A compared to all other forms of carotenes. The antioxidant properties of this vitamin help protect the body from damage caused by free radical molecules. A study on elderly patients published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition(i) revealed a regular intake of beta carotene supplements could stimulate immune response and help fight off infections.  
    According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre,(ii) an intake of 15mg of beta carotene could also support nerve cells in eyes and combat conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataract. A study involving 976 participants(iii) revealed the antioxidant properties of beta carotene helped protect eye cells and could slow the progression of AMD. 
    Symptoms of cognitive decline, such as memory loss, mood swings and depression, could also be prevented by a regular dose of beta carotene. A study on 5,956 men over the age of 65 showed long-term beta carotene supplementation could reduce levels of oxidative stress associated with cognitive decline.
Like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mustard cress and many other ‘greens’, watercress belongs to the brassica family which provides a rich source of protective phytonutrients (plant chemical compounds) that scientists believe may help prevent and fight a wide range of cancers (i).
During both World Wars when we were reliant on local produce, watercress sandwiches were a national institution but sadly, as our diets became more varied and increased competition from more ‘exotic’ and sweeter leaves took centre stage, watercress gradually became relegated to a mere garnish left on the side of the plate.
However, watercress growers refused to be side-lined and slowly but surely research into this leafy wonder’s nutritional greatness has earned it an impressive array of ‘super’ stripes, making it a worthy player in the health defence game.

This vitamin and antioxidant-rich fruit can support the immune system and help with detoxification,” says Louisa. It can also provide the following health benefits:
Aids weight loss
Grapefruit is very low in calories, consisting of around 42kcal per 100g. Enjoying it as part of a balanced diet can be beneficial to weight loss.
In a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, 91 obese patients were given fresh, juiced or capsule forms of grapefruit alongside a placebo to discover the benefits on weight loss and insulin regulation. After 12 weeks, the fresh grapefruit group had lost 1.6 kg, the grapefruit juice group had lost 1.5 kg, the grapefruit capsule group had lost 1.1 kg, and the placebo group had lost 0.3 kg. Results also found that eating half a grapefruit before a meal significantly reduced weight gain. Insulin reduction was also improved (i).
Lowers cholesterol
“Grapefruit contains the soluble fibre pectin which can support healthy cholesterol levels,” says Louisa. Pectin could help lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, a form of fat linked to heart disease. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found both white and red grapefruit decreased serum lipid levels in coronary atherosclerosis patients (ii).
Strengthens cells
“Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, with half a grapefruit giving you your daily requirement of 40mg,” explains Louisa. “It is also a good source of beta-carotene, which can be converted to vitamin A in the body, vitamin B5, and antioxidants. The pink and red varieties also contain lycopene.”
Lycopene is the substance which gives certain fruits and vegetables their red colour. It is packed with antioxidants that could help strengthen the thickness and fluidity of cell membranes, vital to protect the body from diseases such as macular degenerationcataractsand heart disease


Sprezzatura, an Italian word originating from Baldassare Castoiglione’s book, The Book of Courtier, states that sprezzatura alludes to a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.
It seems that with each hour the Englishman spends attending to the fine details of dressing, the Italian gentleman will spend an equal amount of time making it look as if he has not attended to the fine details of dressing. And, perhaps this is part of the reason that Neapolitan tailoring continues to endure, since it not only describes a specific style, but also an attitude towards putting others at ease, being naturally elegant, and a spirit of not-so-accidental nonchalance

Sunday, 30 July 2017

new shirt measurements

Size S:
Pit to pit : 52 cm / 20,5 inch
lenght of shirt: 71 cm / 28 inch
shoulders: 44 cm / 17,3 inch
Sleeves: 61 cm / 24 inch
Size M:
Pit to pit: 56 cm / 22 inch
lenght of shirt: 73 cm / 28,7 inch
shoulders: 46 cm / 18,1 inch
Sleeves: 63 cm / 24,8 inch
Size L:
Pit to Pit: 60 cm / 23,6 inch
lenght of shirt: 75 cm / 29,6 inch
shoulders: 48 cm / 18,9 inch
Sleeves: 65 cm / 25,6 inch
Size XL:
Pit to Pit: 64 cm / 25,2 inch
lenght of shirt: 77 cm / 30,3 inch
shoulders: 50 cm / 20,5 inch
Sleeves: 67 cm / 26,4 inch

Saturday, 22 July 2017



ONE morning towards the end of the year 18893 a 
lady who lived in a terrace of houses on the top of a 
high rock surrounded by battlements descended into 
the kitchen to order the food for the day. She was 
in a few months' time to have a child. She was 
suddenly seized with a strong feeling that she must 
come upstairs, cross the garden and look down on 
the seashore. The impulse became so strong that 
she went upstairs, crossed the garden and looked 
over the battlements. Standing on the shore far 
below was a man with dark hypnotic eyes. This 
man,, whenever he saw her, stared at her in a way 
that frightened her; he had lived a long time in the 

The child she was about to bear was myself. I 
have often wondered if that man hypnotized her in 
any way that may afterwards have affected me or 
induced me to start on a career that was so different 
from that of my family or my upbringing. On 
February the fourteenth, 1890, I was born. 

Everybody was furious, especially my Father, who 
still is. As soon as I became conscious of anything 
I was furious too, at having been born a girl; I have 
since discovered that it has certain advantages. My 
first recollection of anything is walking downstairs, 
step by step, to join a little boy who was standing at 


the bottom of the stairs holding out a china vase 
with pink and blue flowers on it. That was my 
second birthday- We then went to Saltash, where, 
seated on the front doorstep one day, I went for a 
walk with a strange lady and was later discovered 
by my nurse all dressed in white chasing a flock of 
sheep down a hillside followed by an angry shepherd. 
At this time my brother was born, and as everyone 
was very much occupied I had a good time rooting 
up all the carnations in the front garden that my 
Father, whom I dislited, had recently planted, 
Next door lived a boy of about six. I spent much 
time trying to pull him through the wire-netting 
which separated our gardens, but without success; 
he is now, I believe, a Brigadier-General in the 
Royal Engineers. We then went to York. I was 
taken out one evening in my nursc s s arms to sec the 
Duke and Duchess of York driving through the 
streets and was thrilled by the lights and the crowd; 
this was their honeymoon visit to York. They are 
now King George and Qpieen Mary* 

There was a lunatic asylum next door and some 
times a fair; the noise of the fair and the lunatics 
kept us awake at night. On Christmas Day I was 
given a glass of champagne, which gave me a 
pleasant and gay feeling* I was then sent back to 
Tenby and to my Grandmother, who was the most 
stupid and sentimental of women and loathed my 
Father, I was free and allowed to do as 1 liked. I 
rode every day on a donkey, accompanied by a 
donkey-boy and my nurse. I liked the donkey-boy, 
but the nurse and lie talked all the time. 1 felt the 



terrible misery of being so young and ignorant and 
having no conversational powers: I decided that 
something must be done to improve things. I fell in 
love with a little boy of seven and ran all over the 
town after him saying, " Tony, I will kiss you/ 3 but 
I never caught him. Many years later, when I was 
eleven I was asked to a party and everyone said, 
cc Aren't you going to kiss Tony? " and we both 
nearly died of shame. He is to-day a successful 
rancher in South America. I was now four, and had 
the first feeling of shame. I spent most of my time 
writing stories and drawing. I wore socks, and one 
day my Grandmother said, cc You are too big to 
wear socks and people will think it shameful and 
will stare at you. 5 ' I hung my head and blushed 
and had to wear black woollen stockings. A birth 
day party was given for me and I was given an 
oyster to taste; I spat it on the floor and was 
carried out screaming. I objected to girls, and was 
asked to a refined Christmas tree party where I was 
given a beautiful pink doll. I made so much disturb 
ance that I was taken home at once in the Bath 
chair that always took us to parties. 

There was a woman with a horrible face who 
passed the house every morning; I always waited 
for her to poke my tongue out and make grimaces; 
I found out later that she was a Sunday School 
teacher. She complained to my Grandmother, who 
had me locked into a back room during the time 
she passed the window. Life with my Grandmother 
was, on the whole, too easy, and, finding my be 
haviour impossible to cope with, she sent me to 



Chatham to my Father. There, I had a donkey to 
ride on which was kept in the barracks and all was 
well until the soldier servant gave her oatmeal that 
had not been soaked and she swelled up and burst 

and I was very sad. 

Life at Chatham was not pleasant. My Grand 
mother arrived and then there was one perpetual 
argument as to how I was to be brought up, violent 
arguments that nearly came to blows; one particu 
larly awful moment when I locked myself into the 
W.C. and the battle raged in the passage outside. 
There was a picture of Lord Nelson when young, a 
coloured plate from the Illustrated London News, on 
the wall that I had to gaze at trembling. I think I 
could draw that picture now. The only friendly 
person in the house was the soldier servant whom 
I would grab whenever he came into the nursery 
and tie him to a chair with a skipping rope. My 
Father was selfish and bad-tempered and beat me. 
I must admit that I was a dreadful child but 1 
think he rather overdid it. He had a bag of bam 
boo canes which were sent to him from India, 
If I had behaved badly during the morning I was 
locked into his dressing-room to wait for him to 
come home. How I hate still the smell of shaving 
soap and pomade. When he arrived, he made a 
noise like a hungry lion, took the bag of canes, and 
tried each one out on his hand to see which was the 
most effective, then as I skipped about and screamed 
he would cut me on the legs or anywhere he could, 
I had to go to bed on one occasion as my legs were 
cut and bleeding; such was the Spartan upbringing 



of the 'nineties. A large doll was brought for me 
with a view to instilling some feminine feeling into 
me, but being of an imitative disposition I placed its 
head in the fire-place with its legs sticking over the 
nursery fender, stole one of my father's bamboo 
canes, turned up its skirts, and beat it so that its 
head was battered on the grate; it was mended but 
as this occurred again and again the family gave it 
up. One nursemaid left after another. A very tall 
one came and I found that her white apron made a 
very nice slide, so she went too. 

We went to the grand review on the Lines; I sat 
beside the coachman. In the carriage was my 
Mother, my Grandmother, an old lady and an old 
gentleman. The ladies wore hats like birds'-nests. 
When the guns went off I gave a loud howl and fell 
backwards into the carriage on to the birds'-nests. 
I was left at home next time. 

In 1898 my Father was sent to Belfast where we 
had a house near the Ormeau Road. I was sent 
out one Saturday evening to fetch a medicine glass 
as my sister was ill and the servants had gone out. 
It was a terrifying experience, every house seemed 
to be a pub and outside lying against the barrels of 
whisky were drunken men and women: I had to 
dodge them and wind my way through them. 

I and my brother went to an Irish mixed school, 
we were regarded as foreigners, and as I did not feel 
able to deal with the pupils I did my best to have 
my revenge on the music mistress who, poor woman, 
had a miserable time and probably still hates the 
English. In Belfast I first felt real affection. An 


Irish lady my family knew had three little girls; I 
stayed with them as often as I could escape from 
home and was really happy. 

When we left Ireland I had to be carried on to the 
boat wailing loudly with misery. We went back to 
Tenby and my parents went to Malta, leaving me 
with my Grandmother. I spent most of my time 
and money on fishing; I sat daily on the end of the 
old pier alone with a line and caught pollack and 
sometimes sprats which were generally too small to 
cook. One day I met a butcher boy whose face I 
had never liked, so I kicked his tray of meat over and 
hit him in the stomach; I was rescued by two nuns 
and taken home to my infuriated Grandmother. I 
made friends with bathing-machine boys whom I 
found sympathetic and a pleasant change from 
home life. I learnt the pleasing expression of 
" Bloody b r " from them, which I found acted 
very effectively on a nasty park keeper* I also had 
a dispute with my Grandmother who locked me 
into a bedroom and spoke about the devil, so I 
threw a basin, a jerry, a jug and two bananas out of 
the window and knocked her down. Every day I 
rode on a fat pony kept by the sweep but I only 
rode it because I liked the sweep, who was a nice 
kindly old man and not because of his pony, which 
was old and fat- 




ONE day a grim aunt appeared; she said that 
boarding school was the only place for me, so I 
was sent to a high-class Academy for young Ladies 
at Westgate-on-Sea. I was plunged in gloom. My 
Father wrote quoting from Thackeray, I can't re 
member the exact quotation, but it was about the 
boy who was sad at school, not because he was sorry 
to leave his parents, but because the school was a 
very uncomfortable place. He was right, but it 
pained me at the time and I did miss the bathing- 
machine boys. My Grandmother had fitted me out 
in a splendid manner. I had a bag with my initials 
on it, a writing-case from the Army and Navy Stores 
with initials too, and a fine Bible with large print 
handsomely bound in leather with my name in gold. 
I was thrilled to see my name in print. I shared a 
room with another girl. Apart from her beautiful 
red hair which was curly and hung down to her 
waist, I decided that she was the same kind of gutless 
half-wit as the rest of the sex. I cried all that night 
and she cried too. I cried, mostly from rage and a 
feeling of being caged in: she cried because she 
loved her parents. I cried daily for a week. 

On Sunday we went to church. The altar walls 
and ceiling were painted blue with silver stars; after 
gazing at the stars during the sermon I had an idea* 
" Why not run away? " At seven-thirty the next 
morning I saw that my room-mate was still asleep; 



I looked round the room and saw the Bible with my 
initials in gold; I put it under one arm and a pair 
of indoor slippers under the other. I took seven and 
sixpence which was my pocket money for some time, 
climbed over the garden wall, and started in the 
direction of the station. I must have been rather a 
noticeable figure at that hour as I had the school 
colours on my hat, I got to the station and asked 
about the trains to London, where my Grandmother 
was staying. By this time I had worked up a con 
siderable amount of affection for her. Alas! no 
trains for an hour and a half; what should I do? 
I took a road behind the station. I passed by a 
farmyard and looked through the iron gates. I saw 
chickens and pigs feeding. I felt awfully hungry 
and envied them. I passed a road of villas and 
could sec the detested bourgeois eating eggs and bacon 
through the lace curtains* I came to a field of 
turnips and sat down on the roadside, I had heard 
that turnips were good to eat so I chipped a bit off 
one and found it extremely disagreeable, I thought 
that it must be nearly time for the train to go and 
got up to walk on 3 suddenly a hand was laid on my 
shoulder: the HEAD MISTRESS! 

The mistresses three sisters were charming and 
very intelligent women, and although I won a prize 
for writing an essay on a play of Shakespeare's, my 
performances in the schoolroom were far from satis 
factory. I was by this time quite resigned to my 
fate and began rather to enjoy it. In the winter 
term I overheard a discussion on theatricals and to 
my joy was told that the theatre was to be hired for 



two nights and that I was to play the leading part 
in Jack and the Beanstalk. " Fame at last." I danced 
extremely well. The most brilliant pupil was a 
child often, my own age, with blue eyes and short 
golden hair, a relation of the mistresses, who was 
very conceited and was furious that she was not 
given the leading part. I met her in Paris a few years 
ago. It still rankled. Like most blondes later in 
life, she resembled instead of a ripe fruit or flower, 
those pale faded waxen fruits and flowers in Vic 
torian glass cases. Blondes should dye their hair and 
paint "their faces or get married and have children. 
Rehearsing was fun and the costumes were made 
by the mistresses and the great night came. I wore 
red tights and high-heeled red shoes and a little cap 
with a feather and felt that I was about to conquer 
the world. I went through my part and climbed 
the beanstalk a rope covered in leaves which hung 
over a beam and was held by two old gentlemen in 
the wings. I was very well received, I danced a 
hornpipe and brought the house down. I was called 
for over and over again. The only time I shall know 
what real Fame is, to stand in front of an enthu 
siastic and cheering audience. Some rich people 
wanted to get me an engagement in London and 
others to dance at concerts but alas! my family 
again. " Ladies do not go on the stage." I was 
furious, besides a lady was the last thing that I 
wanted to be. 



MY family had decided that the school at West- 
gate was very expensive and decided to get votes for 
me to go to the Royal School, Bath; this was for 
officers' daughters; it meant passing a rather stiff 
exam., so I returned to Tenby. My Father was in 
South Africa at the War, so things looked good. 
Some nice little boys and I organized an army with 
a view to beating up some members of the lower 
classes who had taken exception to us. They des 
pised girls but said that I and a girl friend of mine, 
the only one who was not a fool that I could find, 
could join, provided that we put red crosses on our 
arms and attended to the wounded, which we had 
to do after the first encounter. Our army went out 
on the prowl every Sunday* One day we marched 
out on to the sand dunes. We approached a high 
rock and to our horror when we got near we were 
bombarded with huge stones and large lumps of 
turf; we were forced to retreat. One day the 
enemy appeared unexpectedly. My noble army all 
ran away and left me. They tied my hands behind 
my back with rope and marched me back triumph 
antly through the streets where I met my Grand 

We had a charming milkman who had a milk cart 
with big cans which I could hide behind when I did 
the rounds with him and saw any undesirables 

My Brother's school had just started a girls 5 class, 


TENBY, 1899 


so I was sent there. The Headmaster's wife was 
terrifying but kind and intelligent. I could not do 
arithmetic, so cried with rage whilst she roared at 

The Headmaster appeared from time to time and 
when my sums were shown to him he would ex 
claim " Moly Hoses! " which we thought very dash 
ing and clever. My friend who wore the red cross 
in our ill-fated army was brilliant at arithmetic and 
what was my astonishment when one day in the 
middle of an impossible sum the Mistress glared at 
my friend and pointing to me said, " She has more 
brains in her little finger than you have in your 
whole body." That gave me confidence in myself 
and I took to writing stories. I could never arrive 
at any satisfactory result as I never could think of 
anything to write about and had to console myself 
with doing drawings, which I considered to be an 
inferior art. I passed the examination with honours, 
I think principally on my viva voce examination in 
scripture. I was examined by a charming and 
sympathetic Welsh clergyman who found my views 
on the Bible quite unusual. 

Every Saturday since I can remember, my 
Grandmother insisted on my accompanying her to 
the cemetery to visit the tomb of my Grandfather. 
She was of a sentimental disposition and lived only 
for the dead. It was a dismal proceeding. I had to 
fill the iron anchor and cross with water and arrange 
the flowers. After a speech about death and the 
uselessness of living, we went home. The flowers 
chosen were often " Stars of Bethlehem/ 5 which 



smelt strongly of onions: it seemed an odd way of 
demonstrating one's affection and I was glad that 
the dead had lost their sense of smell. 

My Grandfather was a remarkable man and if he 
had only lived he died in i893~-we would all not 
have got into so much trouble. Any artistic talent 
that I have I inherited from him. He 'was a naval 
officer and did all the surveying in the 'seven 
ties of Heligoland, Western Wales, and Western 
Australia. He drew all the maps himself with 
beautiful drawings of islands and little landscapes. 
I believe that they are still in use at the Admiralty, 
In those days naval officers took their wives and 
families with them when they went abroad. They 
sailed to Australia in a sailing ship with two masts; 
this took three months, Perth was then a convict 
settlement and all the servants were convicts. My 
Grandfather bought for a few hundred pounds land 
that is now the main street of Perth; he sold it; for 
a few thousand pounds. When they sailed back 
there was a terrible storm and one mast was washed 
overboard and they knelt down and said their 
prayers; a shark followed the ship and the second 
mate went mad and jumped overboard. They got 
home safely, however. My Grandmother was a 
Canadian and was one of three very beautiful 
sisters; she met my Grandfather when he was in 
Canada with his ship and married him. One of her 
ancestors was Joseph Howe, who federated the 
Canadian States and had a dispute with Mr. 
Gladstone, wfio was forced to apologize (Dictionary 
of National Biography], She had many ancestors; in 



fact there was no end to the ancestors who came 
over on that very overcrowded ship, the <c May 
flower/ 3 She was what the Americans would de 
scribe as " dumb. 55 

From here I went to Bath. This was very 
different from my private school; there were a 
hundred and fifty girls and I was delighted with 
it: the girls complained bitterly that it was a 
charity institution; the only advantage being that 
we were not made to wear uniforms and be com 
pletely like workhouse inmates. 

My first term I won the foreign languages prize 
because I had had the verb " To be " and the verb 
" To have " dinned into my head for two years. I 
had no particular talent for languages. I drew 
maps for a friend of mine and she did my arithmetic. 
At Christmas I played the " Mad Hatter " in Alice 
in Wonderland, and had a great success; the Arch 
deacon of Bath always sent his old top hats to the 
school for theatricals, so I wore one. One day 
during preparation someone handed me a copy of 
Edward Lear's Nonsense Rhymes. I thought them so 
funny and made such a disturbance that I was sent 
out. A friend and I started to write a magazine 
together, I doing the illustrations, having abandoned 
writing. This was stopped as it was considered un 
conventional. Bath made me horribly ill and de 
pressed; I developed glands and had to stay at home 
for a term. 

My family were at Portsmouth waiting for the 
return of my Father from South Africa and I was 
sent to the Portsmouth School of Art. This was in 


1903. I was given coloured pictures of Venice to 
copy in water-colours; it bored me after a time and 
so I used to wander about the Art School. I found 
a passage, on the walls of which were nude studies 
done by the students which fired me with enthu 
siasm. I found myself in the Antique Room with 
white plaster casts of Venus, Hercules, and the 
Dancing Faun. I had an irresistible desire to get a 
hammer and chip off the plaster fig leaves that 
seemed to me to be ugly and silly. 

I met at this time a family who were very kind to 
me. The sister had hair nearly down to the ground, 
reddish gold and most beautiful. She had a wonder 
ful voice and used to act in amateur theatricals; she 
was always getting engaged to naval officers but 
none of them came up to her ideal I believe she is 
still a maiden. Her family would not allow her to 
become a singer notwithstanding the fact that they 
were almost penniless; because ec Ladies did not go 
on the stage." She would probably have become a 
famous singer. I fell in love with her brother 
Morris who was nineteen, six foot three, and a dream 
of beauty. He was in the Rifle Brigade and looked 
magnificent in his uniform. I stayed with them 
sometimes when my family went to London, and as 
his sister sat each evening with me when I was in 
bed and talked about life he would rush into the 
room and fire a revolver out of the window. This 
seemed to me the height of daring and manliness. 
One day he invited me to go for a drive in a horse 
trap of the American pattern that one sees in old 
cowboy films. It had big spidery wheels and held 



two people. We drove to Portsdown Hill. He put 
his arm along the back of the seat, I was terrified. 
My Father had warned me that one should " Never 
let a man touch you "; I did not know what he 
meant but I sat straight up on the end of the seat 
until the arm was removed. I was sadly disillu 
sioned the following Christmas ? when we had moved 
to Plymouth. A photograph album was sent to me 
and inside was written, cc Nina with love from 
Morris/ 5 but it was in his sister's handwriting. He 
is now the father of a large family. 



IN 1 905 my throat was so bad that I had to leave 
school, which I did, shedding a tear on the Head 
mistress's shoulder. My Father was stationed in 
Dublin opposite Guinness's Brewery, and I was sent 
to the Dublin S.chool of Art. I liked the Irish, they 
were free, easy, and amiable, I was known as 
cc the foreigner. 3 ' I drew extremely well and the 
other students came round to admire my drawing. 
I did a charcoal drawing of the head of Michael 
Angelo's " David," half life size, the curls nearly 
killed me but I was very proud of it and took it home 
triumphantly. My Father then went to the Curragh 
Gamp where I had a splendid time and hunted witli 
the Kildarc. I had to ride the army horses, which 
had very hard mouths, but I rode well and did not 

Then the crash came and my Father ruined the 
family. We crept away one night in a jaunting car 
along the wet and lonely roads. We were not feeling 
very cheerful and the only vehicle we met was 
another car with a coffin on it. My Grandmother 
had a big flat at Chiswkk and she and my Father 
fought daily as they tried to plan out our future, 
This was in 1905. My Father said to mc s < Now 
you must earn your own living. I believe that it is 
quite respectable for ladies to study to become 
clerks in the Post Office/ 9 I was sent to the Regent 
Street Polytechnic, the commercial side. The 
Headmaster was a Yorkshireman and an old beast. 



The students were mostly board-school children 
whose talent for adding up and doing sums stag 
gered me. I gave one look of despair at the figures 
and took to drawing on the blotting paper. At the 
end of the term the Headmaster told my Father that 
I was a hopeless case and quite incapable of getting 
on in any walk of life. As I persisted in drawing, my 
Grandmother decided to send me to an Art School. 
About this time I was confirmed. I never knew 
quite why or what it was all about, but I was sent 
alone to a very sympathetic clergyman. We 
prayed together and I had to write an essay on one's 
Duty to one's Parents. This I did so well and filled 
it with such noble and pious sentiments that he told 
my Grandmother that I had something of a real 
Saint in my disposition. It occurred to me that if 
leg-pulling was as easy as all that the future might 
not be so bad. I was dressed in white and taken to 
a church at Ghiswick where the Bishop of London 
confirmed me. 

Some friends of my Grandmother's knew A. B. 
Cull, now a famous marine artist; he said that five 
years' free education was to be had at the Royal 
Academy Schools. He had just finished the course 
there himself. The examination was difficult and 
he said that once having passed the examination 
one's artistic future was easy! I was sent to prepare 
for this exam, at the Pelham School of Art in South 
Kensington. The students were very refined and 
snobbish, the girls were mostly of well- to-do families 
who, I think, sent their daughters there to await the 
happy moment when they would find husbands. I 



was deadly serious and determined to get on. The 
old man who kept the school was a sweet old 
Scotsman who painted curious pictures of High 
landers and romantic scenes at dawn. They did not 
seem to me to mean very much, I drew from the 
antique with energy. Mr. Cope, now Sir Arthur, 
conducted the life class. He used to roar, " Line! 
Line! " at the young ladies and they would burst 
into tears. 

I lived at the flat at Ghiswick with my Grand 
mother. I wore a stiff linen collar and tie and cor 
sets with bones in them, A few years later I cast 
them aside. My Grandmother and an elderly 
cousin said that it was indecent and disgraceful and 
women's backs were not strong enough to support 
themselves; I am now forty-one and my backbone 
has not yet crumpled up. 

In the flat underneath lived a very charming 
family. They knew H, M Batcman, which thrilled 
me, and I would go down in the evenings and hear 
about the great man, of whom I am still a very great 
admirer. One of the sons, Charlie, was a medical 
student. I fell violently in love with him* I was 
ugly and shy, and he used to take beautiful and 
well-dressed girls to dances. This made me sad, 1 
was studying Anatomy at the time and going to 
lectures at the Royal Academy, The grand passion 
gave me such interest in Anatomy that 1 learnt and 
knew by heart every muscle and its attachment. I 
borrowed his bones, a skull, a backbone, and a 
chain of vertebrae on a string which hung over the 
end of my bed at night. I placed the skull affection- 




ately on the table at my bedside. My Grandmother 
thought that I was mad. Poor Charlie! he is now 

I was now sixteen. I drew from the nude at the 
Art School, but I had never dared to look at myself 
in the mirror, for my Grandmother had always 
insisted that one dressed and undressed under one's 
nightdress using it as a kind of tent. One day, feel 
ing very bold, I took off all my clothes and gazed 
in the looking-glass. I Vas delighted. I was much 
superior to anything I had seen in the life class and 
I got a book and began to draw. 

I went away for the summer to Margate and 
painted four water-colour landscapes, for which I 
got a silver medal at Christmas. 

A girl student one day gave me a small book by 
Camille Mauclair on the French Impressionists; 
I thought they were most interesting and so different 
from Highlanders in action. 

I travelled home one day in the same carriage as 
a girl who had won the gold medal at the Royal 
Academy Schools for portrait painting. I was much 
impressed at first but bitterly disillusioned when I 
showed her the book and found that she had never 
heard of Edouard Manet. 

One of our students had found a Sketch Class 
where clothed models, workpeople, and interesting 
character models posed from five till seven. It was 
at the London School of Art, where John Swan, the 
animal painter, and Frank Brangwyn were the pro 
fessors, and Joseph Simpson took the sketch class. 
Simpson was a brilliant caricaturist and draughts- 


man. I went along with her and when I got there 
I knew for certain that the Royal Academy was no 
place for me and decided at all costs to leave 
Pelham Street. This was not so easy, as my Grand 
mother was thinking of the five years' free education 
at the Royal Academy Schools rather than my 
artistic development. 

I wrote to Mr. George Clausen, the Academician, 
who occasionally gave criticisms at Pelham Street. 
I went with some of my drawings to his studio in St. 
John's Wood. He was very encouraging and sym 
pathetic and when I asked his opinion on the 
advisability of going to the London School of Art 
he seemed to think that it was a good idea. The 
result was that my Grandmother was induced to 
pay my fees for a short time. 

The next term I went to * c Brangwyns," as we 
called it. 

Here at last was paradise. It was run as a French 
Academy. The class had a Massier who posed the 
models and the professor came once a week, 

Swan was a remarkable personality and was very 
hard to please. One day a negro model was posing 
and I was doing a large drawing in charcoal Swan 
appeared and saicl ? cc Go and wash your hands and 
face and if you can draw like that you are all right/ 9 

Most of the students imitated Brangwyn and their 
work was atrocious, They imitated his mannerisms 
instead of learning from his real qualities. He was 
not a good professor* he had too much personality 
to teach well* 

Later George Lambert and William Nicholson 


were the professors. Nicholson always wore a white 
duck suit, with a spotted tie and socks to match, and 
came on a push bike. 

As we decorated the walls wnh palette scrapings I 
am afraid he never left as spotless as he arrived. He 
taught still life. We began with a white plate and a 
stout bottle with some white drapery against a grey 
wall. Nicholson always said when he saw a some 
what shaky plate, u Draw the plate round, it looks 
more professional/ 3 so he got a pair of compasses. 
He was an excellent teacher. 

George Lambert was the best professor I have 
ever had. He drew beautifully and took endless 
pains over anyone whom he thought had talent. 
Lambert took a whole morning painting a leg for 

Everyone was terrified of Swan and we all ran like 
rabbits when we saw him coming. One bold 
student wrote on the door of his Life Glass, " Aban 
don hope all ye who enter here/ 5 but as it was high 
up I don't think he ever saw it. 

A girl who was with me at Brangwyns had a room 
in Chelsea and we shared models. She and her 
brother Henry Savage knew Richard Middleton, the 
poet, very well. I found her extremely interesting. 
She was very well read and talked a great deal about 
people like Frank Harris and Edward Thomas and 
we wallowed in the " Shropshire Lad " and the 
poems of John Davidson. 

Wilenski, the critic, was a student there too. He 
wore a large sombrero and a black cloak and carried 
a silver-headed stick. He had studied abroad and 



painted purple and green studies and was the ad 
miration of the whole school, but we were rather 
frightened of him and regarded him as a superior 
being who understood the mysteries of life. Jan 
Gordon was there also. 

One day there came to the school a strange young 
man with a funny hat made of cloth in the pattern 
of an American sailor's hat. He had a long nose 
and stuttered. He was at once named cc The 
Genius/ 3 He certainly had talent. I fell in love 
with him. I used to visit him in Chelsea; we were 
very pure. 

I used to come home late at night. My Father 
screamed about virtue. We were only too virtuous. 
He kissed me one day. We read d'Annunzio. I 
wished I were older, I bought a large black hat 
like a coal-scuttle and a dress with a slight train 
and tried to feel fatal, 

We went to the Coliseum to see Sarah Bernhardt 
We Imagined that we were greater than all the 
lovers in history. We remained pure because I 
don*t think he quite knew what to do about it, any 
way he lacked Initiative and so nothing happened, 
We drank crimede~menth* and felt really devilish. 

He painted a picture of me lying on a sofa with 
an out-stretched hand like a fork, 1 forget what It 
represented; I think one of the phases of the soul 
I was convinced that I had a fatal and hopeless 

About this time I met Arthur Ransome who had 
written a book called Bohemia in London, I walked 
into a friend's room and a man in knickerbockers,, 




with a very large moustache, was there. He pro 
duced a flute from his pocket and I danced. We 
were later introduced. This was Ransome. I 
went to his flat one day; as he opened the door 
there was an awful smell of shag and beer. Ransome 
said, " I am awfully sorry but a friend of mine, a 
gipsy, arrived here with his donkey-cart filled with 
ferns which he hawks round. I have not seen him 
for years. " Ransome invited him in and they 
talked Romany, drank beer, and smoked shag. 
Later, when they came out, the donkey-cart had 
been taken to the police station. 

Ransome was editing a series of translations of 
short stories by foreign authors. One day he asked 
me to dine with him at the " Good Intent," on 
Chelsea Embankment, he was meeting a young man 
who was in Fleet Street. I was much impressed as 
I had just read The Street of Adventure, by Philip 
Gibbs. The young man was Hugh Walpole. They 
talked and I listened and felt that life had really 

Nineteen hundred and nine. A very talented girl 
at the Art School, who had been born and brought 
up in Russia, asked me to spend the summer vacation 
with her family. I was delighted and took the last ten 
pounds out of the savings bank and we took a ship 
from the Millwall Dock to St. Petersburg. 

We were given in charge of the Captain, but he 
could never find us in the evenings. We discovered 
some students in the Second Class with guitars and 



we spent our evenings singing and drinking port. 
The farther the ship got away from England the 
better I felt, and my Father and my Grandmother 
seemed like some nightmare of a forgotten age. 

At Kronstadt a steamboat approached filled with 
the wildest-looking men dressed in green uniforms, 
with high boots, large flowing beards, carrying 
swords. These were the Customs officers. They 
climbed over the side of the ship and looked through 
our things. 

When we got to St. Petersburg we drove in a 
droshky to my friend's family's flat, a magnificent 
apartment with salons and many rooms. The next 
day we went to a place on the Gulf of Finland. 
This part of Finland is not very beautiful. Nothing 
but pine trees and forests. I stayed there for two 

For one week they came to Petersburg to show 
me the sights. 

I went to the first night of the ballet The Sleeping 
Beauty. Pavlova was the Premiere Danseme, Karsa- 
vina the second, and the Corps de Ballet was wonder 
ful. Any one of them would have been a star now, 

My friend had two unmarried sisters and they 
had two very beautiful Russian friends who were 
both unmarried. Every day roses and poems were 
brought to the Russian girls by students and young 
officers, I was very envious, but they were bored 
and sent them away. The students came in their 
blue uniforms and talked and talked; they never 
seemed to repeat themselves. They all talked 
French and most of them English, After their visits 


we were quite exhausted and they never seemed to 
have really said anything at all. We had violent 
arguments in the evenings over the respective values 
of Dostoievsky and Shakespeare. 

A Russian uncle appeared one day, his name was 
Alexander. There was a piano in the house called 
the Castrule, which is the Russian name for sauce 
pan, because it made such an odd noise. Uncle 
Alexander sat clown to it after luncheon one day 
and played without stopping for eight hours; he 
played rather like a barrel organ. He was very 
sweet and had an enormous grey beard and steel- 
rimmed spectacles. 

I went to my first cinema in Finland. There 
were no street lamps so we started in a procession 
with sticks and Chinese lanterns attached by strings. 
We saw the old Italian funny films where cart 
wheels dropped off and old ladies were left sitting on 
them being whirled round and round. 

There was a Kursaal where we were taken and 
given one glass of Swedish punch each quite 
enough,, as it was very intoxicating and would cer 
tainly have gone to our heads. Sometimes they 
had fetes and we would dance the Mazurka with Finns 
and Russians. That was fun and much better than 
Charlestons and jazz dances. The Finns are mostly 
very ugly and quick-tempered. One of our friend's 
cooks disappeared suddenly and we heard that she 
had been displeased with the butcher and had 
thrown a large mutton bone at him, doing con 
siderable damage, and had been locked up for a 
month. There were Northern Lights at night, not 



very strong but most irritating, as one woke up at 
one a.m. and thought it was five, and the nights 
were interminable. 

I learnt a little Russian and was sent out to buy 
stamps and cigarettes. In September I sailed from 
St. Petersburg. On the boat I met a woman who, 
like my friends, had been born and brought up in 
Russia, although of English parents. We became 
great friends. Her family had cotton mills in 
Russia. As I shall explain later she was the means 
of my going to Paris. 

I would very much have liked to have stayed in 
Russia, but there was no chance of an English per 
son getting anything to do. The only thing was to 
go into a home for decayed gentlewomen and wait 
for an opportunity to teach English. 

I went back to my Grandmother's and felt ex 
tremely discontented. I returned to Brangwyns, 
and as my Grandmother refused to pay any more 
fees, the manager of the Academy was kind enough 
to allow me to work there for nothing on the con 
dition that I acted as Massier for the still life class. 
We painted onions and potatoes and strawberries* 
The braver and better off students painted melons 
and pumpkins out of respect for Brangwyn. 

I still continued to visit my friend the cc Genius " 
and worked in his studio. He was still painting souls 
in torture. I did not belong to the imaginative 
school of painting, so drew charwomen and small 

One day I was in the King's Road, Chelsea, and 
someone said, a There goes Augustus John! " In 



19063 when I first went to Pelham Street, I had heard 
of him and went to his first Exhibition at the Carfax 
Galleries. There were drawings and water-colours 
and I was thrilled by them and visited the Exhibi 
tion many times. I saw a tall man with a reddish 
beard, in a velvet coat and brown trousers, striding 
along; he was a splendid-looking fellow and I 
followed him down the King's Road keeping a 
respectable distance behind. I did not discover 
until I met him in 1914 that he came from Tenby 
and had had the same German and dancing mistress 
as I had had twelve years before. 

Epstein lived in Cheyne Walk and I would stand 
outside hoping to get a glimpse of him. I saw him 
through the window one day. 

Life was dull and I knew nobody of any real 
interest. I went to the local Public Library and 
read everything. I had to find out something about 
life at all costs, and in order to meet interesting 
people decided that I must not be an ignorant bore. 

I went and lived with my family. In the evenings, 
when I was reading, my Father would come in and, 
seeing reproductions of Whistler etchings on the 
wall, would scream, cc Whistler! Ha! Ha! If you 
continue this rot I will have you put into a lunatic 
asylum/' What with this and my hopeless passion 
I became paralyzed. I lost the use of my hands 
completely. I was taken to a doctor friend of my 
Father's, an unpleasant man who might have been 
my Father's twin brother. What I really was suffer 
ing from was virginal hysteria and boredom, but this 
monster invented a disease called Spinal Adhesion 



and made me lie down for hours. This made me 

I went to Margate with my Mother who I had 
really never known before. I found her charming 
and we got on very well. I read philosophy and 
poetry; my Mother thought that I was overstrain 
ing my brain and suggested a little light literature, 
Ethel M. Dell, etc, I was horrified and continued 
to read Kant, Schopenhauer, and Baudelaire. I got 
slightly better and on my return got worse. My 
Father had a friend who worked with Dr. Forbes 
Winslow and went in for hypnotic suggestion. I 
was taken there; he had a medium who went into 
a trance, she held my hands and he said to her, 
" She has nothing the matter witli her whatever." 
The medium then came out of her trance, let go 
of my hands, and the doctor said, " What you want 
to do is some work, any kind, but occupy your 
mind." From that moment I recovered, 

A second cousin of mine was an opera singer; he 
had sung at Co vent Garden, He had a fine baritone 
voice but he was not strong and had to spend most 
of his time touring the Colonies with Madame 
Albani and singing " Land of Hope and Glory," 
which urged large crowds to a feeling of patriotism 
bordering on frenzy. I never liked him; when I 
was fifteen he would stare at me in a way that made 
me embarrassed. He was at this time Thomas 
Beccham's manager and a play called Proud JMaisie, 
by Hemmerdc, was running at the Aldwych 
Theatre, I wrote to him asking him if he could get 
me a job to walk on, I had finished with the Art 



School and was at home with no money to buy 
paints or canvas arid very miserable. My cousin 
wrote and asked me to go to his office. To my joy 
he said that I could start that night and walk 
on in the chorus at ^i a week. I was delighted to 
earn i a week at anything, it was a fortune. The 
play was an eighteenth-century Scottish play, with 
powdered and bewigged ladies, of whom I was one, 
and Highlanders in kilts. I thought with a smile of 
the old Professor at Pelham Street and his pictures 
of Highlanders in action. There was plenty of 
action in this play. We had Henry Ainley, Leon 
Quartermaine, and Alexander Carlisle in the caste, 
a splendid caste, but the play was not a success. 
The hero and adored of all the chorus was Leon 
Quartermaine; Henry Ainley was quite out of the 
picture. My first night I was standing in the wings 
and Ainley, seeing a new face, came up to me and, 
putting his hand under my chin, tilted up my face, 
looked at it, and walked away. I was in a dressing- 
room with eleven other girls; they showed me how 
to make up and were very kind. The management 
provided eleven widcer-work frames to wear under 
the dresses and make the panels at the side stick out, 
and eleven pairs of white drawers with white lace 
on the legs. These hung on a rail. We had to hold 
empty golden glasses and sing a drinking song. All 
the girls had young men who waited for them. 
They brought them flowers and accompanied them 
home. I was very much distressed. I had quar 
relled with the cc Genius " and had no one at all. At 
the end of the week I got my i. At the end of the 



second week the play came to an end. All the 
chorus were upset and recommended me to visit 
Mr. Blackmore in Garrick Street. It was strange 
after my youthful cravings to find myself acting on 
the stage of a London theatre, but the glamour had 
already worn off, and even two weeks showed me 
that I had done well to paint and not to act. 

I put on my coal-scuttle hat and the dress with 
the train, and sat down in Mr. Blackmore's waiting- 
room. There were dowdy-looking painted ladies of 
all ages, and a good many rather horsey and beery- 
looking men, nothing at all like the present-day 
chorus boy. We all waited,, in fact we waited and 
waited. After waiting about three weeks, one day a 
page boy, who used to come round daily and peer 
into our faces, tapped on the window of Mr. Black- 
more's office, and as the window was lifted up, 
shouted, " A little bit of fluff, sir." I then realized 
that if I sat there for forty years I should never be a 
** Little Bit of Fluff. 53 I returned to painting, I 
worked at home ancl joined the Polytechnic evening 
life classes at Turnham Green, A neighbour sat 
for me and I did a pastel of her head which was 
accepted by the Liverpool Art Gallery. 




I WAS now twenty-one. I was introduced one day 
to a poet. He had long hair. He lived with an 
extremely beautiful girl who was an actress. She 
had golden eyes and the most perfect eyebrows; she 
had long black hair down to her waist. He wrote 
hundreds and hundreds of poems to her. She had 
plenty of money always. The poet talked of Aleister 
Crowley, of whom I had heard a good deal. He 
was supposed to be very clever and very wicked. I 
was taken to his studio and introduced to him. I 
found him extremely intelligent and he did not 
strike me as being very bad. He asked me to paint 
four panels with signs representing the elements, 
earth, air, fire, and water; while I was painting 
Fire, apparently the Fire Element escaped, and three 
fires started in mysterious ways in the studio on the 
same day. It was said that Growley was so wicked 
that no young thing could remain alone in the same 
room with him in safety. One day I was painting 
by the fire and his secretary went out, leaving me 
alone with him. He was lying on the hearthrug in 
front of the fire asleep. He woke up, stared at me, 
and said, " ARE YOU ALONE? " I said, " YES/ 5 
and he lay down and went to sleep again. Growley 
had some drug from South America; it was quite 
harmless and one saw colours. He never offered to 
give me any. One day a rich marmalade manu 
facturer, who had come to study magic, was given 
some. He was stone deaf and was sitting by the 



fireplace with a dreamy look on his face; he had 
just taken some. Every now and then Crowley 
would write on a piece of paper, cc What are your 
impressions? " and the marmalade manufacturer 
wrote, much to Crowley's disgust, cc I see coloured 
patterns like the tiles in the Victoria and Albert 

I visited the poet and the beautiful girl quite often, 
She had a big studio in Chelsea. She seemed often 
depressed and one day said to me, a I am going 
away to-morrow for a long time, perhaps for ever, 
come in the morning and I will give you some 
clothes/ 5 I was delighted as I had very few clothes. 
I felt rather worried about her but did not know 
what I could do. The next day I went to the studio. 
Outside pinned on the door was an envelope and 
inside was the key* I was rather frightened. I 
opened the door and inside was a large red curtain. 
I hesitated for a moment, terrified; I pulled it aside 
and on the sofa she lay dead, with a mother-o'-pearl 
revolver and her slippers beside her on the floor. 
Her face was quite white and her golden eyes were 
half closed. She had placed the revolver to her 
chest, inside her dress, and shot herself through her 
heart and lungs. I called the caretaker and he 
fetched the police. I, of course, had to be a witness. 
This depressed me for some time. 

The following summer my family went to Margate 
for two weeks* I did not want to go, so my Father 
gave me two pounds and I took a furnished studio 
in Chelsea for ten shillings a week and worked, I 
was quite alone, everyone was away, and 1 had no 



one to talk to at all for two weeks, but I could work 
and was quite happy. About this time my Grand 
mother died. Nobody was at all sorry. She had to 
be taken back to Ten by to be buried with my Grand 
father. The family went to Paddington to see her 
off. I found my friend the " Genius " and we ate 
ham and drank coffee in the Fulham Road. He 
took a room in Charlotte Street and we became 
friendly again; the great passion had vanished and 
he rather bored me. He talked very much about a 
woman older than himself whom he had met in 
Cornwall. He had a little picture of hers that I 
thought very good. He said that she had a wonder 
ful voice and was also very musical. I felt quite 
jealous. One day I met her and we became great 
friends. The cc Genius " has long since vanished, 
but often I see his friend. I am afraid we are un 
kind enough to make fun of him. 

One day I visited the Chelsea Palace and saw 
Fred Karno's Mumming Birds. Then there was a man 
who just walked up and down the stage. He did not 
speak but he was so funny that the whole house 
roared. This man, I found out afterwards, was 
Charlie Chaplin, who must have already done a 
good many films. At this time two aunts of mine 
took pity on me to the extent of providing me with 
2S. 6d, a week each to help my artistic career. Also 
a girl whom I had met at Brangwyns had a maiden 
aunt who suffered from suicidal mania and was certi 
fied insane. I taught her painting and cheered her 
up considerably; she paid me 5^. a lesson, so I was 
quite well off. This poor woman's life had been 



completely ruined by her parents' stupid way of 
bringing her up. When she was a girl she was never 
even allowed to go to dances, her Father was a 
clergyman. She had no friends and at the age of 
twenty fell in love with the coachman. There was 
a scandal in the village and she never recovered. 
She drew rather like a child and some of her pictures 
of ships and the sea were quite good. She eventually 
died and so my finances were again in a bad way. 

My paternal Grandfather was an Indian Civil 
Servant. He had had at one time a considerable 
sum of money in a bank that went smash. There 
still remained a few hundred pounds which the 
grandchildren would eventually get. A sympathetic 
uncle by marriage arranged that I could get fifty 
pounds in advance. This was a fortune and I was 
overjoyed. I took a room in Grafton Street, 
Fitzroy Square, for seven and sixpence a week. 
There were bugs in it. I chased them with a can 
of petrol. I slept there sometimes but generally 
went home as I could not afford much to eat 
during the day-time and there was always food at 
home. My Father by this time had quite given 
up any hopes of my becoming a decent human 
being or marrying a nice man and settling down 
in the suburbs. He secretly hoped that I would 
get into some awful mess and then he would be 
able to say, " I told you so, this is what Art leads 
to," He and his horrible doctor friend would 
discuss me with leers and winks and talk about what 
they thought went on in Art Schools. 

In Gower Street was the Slade School. The 



London School of Art and the Slade were rivals and 
we despised the students there. There were dances 
at the Botanical Gardens. Marquees were put in 
the gardens and everyone went in fancy dress. 
We wore very few clothes but the Slade wore 
Aubrey Beardsley costumes and were covered up to 
their necks. Our school had the reputation for 
being immoral whereas we were very innocent and 
respectable. So much so that one day a girl was 
discovered kissing a young man behind a door and 
she was practically cut by the whole school. J now 
began to feel that having finished with Art Schools 
I must leave the student stage and become an 
artist. This I realized was a difficult thing to do as 
many students at the Art School and they were of 
all ages seemed to have remained students all 
their lives. I painted a life-size portrait of myself 
in the looking-glass. The colour was very dull but 
it was very well drawn. I painted a pale-faced and 
half-starved looking woman in black, holding a 
yellow tulip. She was one of Growley's poetesses 
and he called her the " Dead Soul "; it was a very 
good description. 

One day when I was going home in the tube I 
sat opposite a girl. She had a most wonderful 
face, like the portrait of the girl in the National 
Gallery by Ghirlandaio; she was rather fatter and I 
decided that at all costs I must paint her portrait. 
I followed her out at Hammersmith and touched 
her on the arm. I said, " Do let me do a painting 
of you." She looked rather frightened, but I 
pressed my name and address into her hand. She 



had a sister who knew some artists in Chelsea and 
wondered what strange kind of individual I could 
be. She wrote asking me to tea. The family were 
charming people. My future model's name was 
Dilys and her father was Welsh. She came and 
sat for me and I painted a life-size portrait which 
delighted us both. I gave it to a second-rate woman 
novelist who, I believe, put it in the dustbin. 

At this time Mark Gertler was very much talked 
about. He .was painting pictures of Jewish char 
acters in Whitechapel which were very interesting, 
and I saw an exhibition of his things at CheniPs in 
Chelsea. There was a self-portrait there of a young 
man with a fringe and very blue eyes. One day I 
met him and a girl called Carrington, who had won 
a Scholarship at the Slade. She had fair hair which 
was cut like an Italian page. She was one of the 
first women in England to cut off her hair and was 
very much stared at as she never wore a hat, I in 
vited them both to tea and felt rather as if I had 
invited a god and goddess. Carrington appeared 
in one red shoe and one blue* We talked about Art 
and the future, and I preserved Gertler's tea-cup 
intact and unwashed on the mantelpiece. It; re 
mained there for about a month; I felt that it ought 
to be given to a museum. He asked me to come to 
tea. He lived in Bishopsgatc with his sister and 
brother-in-law* I found myself in a Jewish market 
where hardly anyone spoke English. I finally got 
to his house. He went downstairs and fetched up a 
tray with the tea on it; he put it down on the floor 
and said, " Help yourself! " I met at this time a girl 




with long red hair. She was a friend of Gertler's 
and was an actress. She was acting at the St. 
James's Theatre, where a Shakespeare season was 
being given by Granville Barker. I met Cathleen 
Nesbitt with her, too, and one day Dennis Neilson 
Terry came to her flat. He had to give a recitation 
and chose one from the Bible. He recited it to us. 
In the middle was an awful shriek and he shrieked 
so loudly that the people upstairs came down think 
ing someone was being murdered. 

I met a woman who took me to one ,of Walter 
Sicker t's Saturday afternoons. I thought him a 
wonderful person and he seemed to like me. He 
came to my room in Grafton Street and liked my 
work. I used to go to see him nearly every Saturday. 
I met Lucien Pissarro, who also came to my room 
and liked my work. I met Wyndham Lewis, T. E. 
Hulme, and Epstein. At this time a society was 
started called the cc Independants," which was 
founded on the principle of the Salon des Inddpen- 
dants in Paris. Anyone could send five pictures on 
the payment of a small fee. The Albert Hall was 
hired for the occasion and I sent five pictures, in 
cluding the cc Dead Soul," my portrait of" Dilys," 
and two others, and it was a most interesting ex 
hibition. The sculpture was downstairs and many 
famous foreign artists showed there. My pictures 
were hung upstairs in a group and I thought they 
looked very nice. All my friends from Brangwyns 
showed there. I had two press cuttings, one in the 
Times, of which I was very proud. Glutton Brock 
was then the art critic. I met him some years after- 



wards and he was always very kind to me in his 

Some months before in a paper called Rhythm, 
which I took in, I saw some drawings that interested 
me very much. They were by a young man called 
Henri Gaudier Brzeska. Downstairs there were 
statues by him, one was of a wrestler, and four 
others. I used to visit the show several times a week 
and when I was tired of walking round I sat down 
on a chair in the midst of his statues. One day a 
young man, looking like a foreigner with a little 
beard, looked at me in an amused kind of way, I 
thought that this was probably the sculptor, but was 
too shy to tell him how much I liked his works. He 
walked away and afterwards I went upstairs and to 
my delight found him standing in front of my 
pictures. One day an elderly woman whom I knew 
asked me if I knew a sculptor who could give her 
lessons at five shillings a time. I knew the book 
seller, Dan Rider, who lived near Charing Cross 
Road, He was a fat little man who roared with 
laughter the whole time. He knew Frank Harris 
very well. He also knew Gaudier Brzeska, I went 
to see him and I said, " Is Brzeska rich? ** and he 
said, a He is very poor**; so I said, "There is a 
lady who would like lessons in sculpture. 9 ' This was 
in 19139 when five shillings meant more than it does 
now. It was not very good payment but I wanted 
to meet him, Dan Rider arranged a meeting at his 
book shop. I turned up and was introduced to him. 
I said, ** Come back to my place and we will talk 
about the lessons in sculpture/' We walked up 



Charing Cross Road. He said, " What do you do ? " 
I said that I painted and had exhibited at the 
Independants at the Albert Hall. He said, " There 
were so many pictures. 5 * I said nervously I had a 
picture of a " Dead Soul," holding a yellow tulip. 
He said, " Yes, of course, I remember it, you are the 
young girl who sat with my statues; my sister and 
I called you c La Fillette. 5 " We walked on. He 
gave my friend lessons, and one day came to my 
room and said, " I am very poor and I want to do a 
torso, will you sit for me? " I said, " I don't know, 
perhaps I look awful with nothing on, 5 ' and he said, 
" Don't worry." I went one day to his studio in the 
Fulham Road and took off all my clothes. I turned 
round slowly and he did drawings of me. When he 
had finished he said, " Now it is your turn to work." 
He took off all his clothes, took a large piece of 
marble and made me draw, and I had to. I did 
three drawings and he said, " Now we will have 
some tea." From the drawings he did two torsos. 
The other day Harold Nicolson published one of 
the drawings in the Evening Standard and said that 
the torso was of myself. Henri was very poor and 
lived with an elderly woman who, he told me, was 
his sister. We used to wander round Putney and 
look at stonemasons' yards, where tombstones were 
exhibited, in the hopes of finding odd bits of stone in 
reach of the railings. One day we found a nice 
piece of marble and that night we arranged to 
meet. At 10.30 we went to the yard. I watched 
for a policeman and he took the piece of marble and 
put it in his pocket. 



Out of this piece of marble he made the first 
torso of me, which is now in the Victoria and Albert 
Museum. I thought he was the most wonderful 
person that I had ever met. The sister was rather 
terrifying and Polish. At that time young men had 
the idea that Polish women were the only women 
in the world. They certainly had brains, but also 
temperaments and many " complexes." She and 
Henri lived in rooms in Putney and Henri had a 
workshop under one of the arches of Putney Bridge. 
I spent every Sunday afternoon with him. We 
bought chestnuts and roasted them and he drew me 
in nay clothes. Henri had a bright red shirt. A 
friend of mine had invented a shirt, the neck was 
cut square, it was what is now called a jumper. 
Henri had a red one and wore it inside his trousers. 
I wore mine outside my skirt and people stared at 
us in the street. Henri talked about the " sales 
bourgeois." In the next arch of Putney Bridge there 
lived an academic sculptor who did monuments. 
He did not carve stone, so Henri despised him. He 
had a band of Italian workmen who came and did 
the dirty work for him, that is to say, they hacked 
out the stone. When the sculptor was out Henri 
would buy the workmen some Chianti and learn 
from them how to carve stone. He bought a forge 
cheaply and put it in his backyard. There he used 
to forge the tools that he sculpted with. It was a 
wonderful machine with large bellows and made a 
great noise* Henri said to me, cc Don't mind what 
people say to you, find out what you have in yourself 
and do your best, that is the only hope in life." 



One day I sold six of Henri's drawings to a friend 
of mine for -i each. He said, " Don't tell my sister 
you sold six, say it was only five and we will go to 
the c Swiss ' in Soho and have some drinks." I dined 
with him and his sister in their rooms in Putney. 
There was a row during dinner and they threw some 
beefsteaks at each other. After dinner she said to 
Henri, cc You bore me, take Nina away and give 
her something to drink, " so we went to the " Swiss." 
After we had had some beer Henri said, " She is not 
my sister, she is my mistress," and I choked down 
some sobs. She did not seem to mind my going out 
with Henri and in fact rather encouraged it, so I 
thought that it didn't matter. Henri bought a large 
knife with a curved blade. He had met W. B. 
Yeats who told him about the ghosts of his ancestors. 
Henri "said, " I have never met a ghost and if I did 
I should take this bloody great knife and kill him." 
Henri never met a ghost, but I did later on, and I 
didn't have a knife. 

Henri knew Ezra Pound very well and liked him. 
Ezra said, " You must sculpt me," and bought him 
a block of marble. He said, " You must make me 
look like a sexual organ." So Henri got to work 
with a piece of charcoal and drew on the stone. He 
chipped and chipped and it was magnificent and it 
has been offered to and refused by many museums. 
It is now in a front garden in Kensington, sur 
rounded by geraniums. Henri slept generally under 
the arch on an iron bed, one of the kind that ser 
vants used to sleep on and could be folded up. It 
looked very uncomfortable. He disapproved of 



comfort. cc Artists should be poor and not indulge 
in comforts of any kind/ 5 One night we went to 
an anarchist meeting in Soho. They had weekly 
meetings and each week in a different language. 
This night it was in German. Henri knew five 
languages and translated for rne. I did not know 
much about anarchy but I thought that any kind 
of revolt against anything was good. I decided that 
it was dreadful not to have been born in Whitechapel 
and that the proletariat were the only people who 
were capable of anything, Henri came to my room 
sometimes. He arrived one day and took out of his 
pocket a large statue, I could see it sticking out as 
it was about a foot long. It was cc The Singing 
Woman " arid is now in the Tate Gallery, We put 
it on the table and admired it, Henri talked about 
art and said, <c Painting is an art for women, 
Literature is an art for old people, but Sculpture is 
the art for strong men/ 3 

I still had my room in Grafton Street, One day 
somebody said, a You might get a job to paint 
furniture and do decorative work at the Omega 
workshops in Fitzroy Square/' The man who 
owned it was Roger Fry. I knew his name very well 
as he organized the first Post-Impressionist show in 
London in 1911. 

Feeling brave one morning I went to Fitzroy 
Square and asked to see Mr. Fry, He was a charm 
ing man with grey hair, and said that I could come 
round the next day and start work* I went round 
and was shown how to do Batiks* I was paid by the 


hour. I made two or three pounds a week and felt 
like a millionaire. I brought Henri round one day 
and he did a design for a tray which was eventually 
carried out in inlaid woods. 




I WAS now twenty-two, and having read many 
books, thought that it was time to consider the 
problem of sex. I was almost completely ignorant. 
I decided that the next man I met and whom I liked 
I would hand myself over to, I went to see an 
elderly woman in Chelsea and asked her what 
happened. She gave me such a terrifying descrip 
tion that when the moment arrived for the presenta 
tion of my virginity I required more courage than 
a soldier has when " Going over the top." 

One day I went to see Crowley in the Fulham 
Road, where I met a most beautiful creature. He 
had long green eyes and hands like the Angel in the 
National Gallery by Filippino LippL He seemed 
to like me too. He took two rooms near Fitzroy 
Square; one night I arranged to sec him at 10.30. 
I arrived and he said, ec Will you take your clothes 
off? n So I did and the deed was done. 1 did not 
think very much of it, but the next morning 1 had 
a sense of spiritual freedom and that something im 
portant had been accomplished. 

I read frequently the poems of Paul Vcrlainc, and 
translations (of which there were not many) of 
Arthur Rimbaud* One day I read Berrichon's 
book on Rimbaud and discovered to my amusement 
that the rooms where I had left my virginity behind 
were those that Rimbaud and Verlainc had stayed 
in in London* One day I said to Walter Sicker t, 
cc Do you think that they will put up a blue plaque 



on the house for me or will they put up one for 
Verlaine and Rimbaud? " and Walter said, " My 
dear., they will put up one on the front for you and 
one on the back for them." My beautiful admirer 
tired of me very soon. I discovered afterwards that 
he liked only pure young girls who very quickly 
bored him. We went to Paris and I stayed at the 
same hotel with a Russian woman who was a friend 
of his, and who came over with us. I did not see 
much of him. We stayed there for five days. 
Epstein and his wife were there and I met Brancusi 
the sculptor. At this time Epstein's Memorial to 
Oscar Wilde was put up in Pere Lachaise. For some 
reason it was considered indecent and covered up 
with a tarpaulin, so every afternoon Epstein, his 
wife, Brancusi, a Spanish painter, his wife and I, 
would go to Pere Lachaise and snatch the tarpaulin 
off. Eventually the French police were told about 
it, and, when we next arrived, hiding behind the 
tombstones were policemen who rushed at us and 
covered the statue up again. 

I liked Paris and determined to return there as 
soon as I could collect sufficient money. Mont- 
parnasse was cheap and everyone worked all day 
and came to the Rotonde in the evening. I was still 
rather in love. After five days my money gave out 
and I came back "to London with the Russian woman. 
I have always regretted not having stayed another 
night as I could have seen Isadora Duncan dance, 
and at that time she was in her prime. When I got 
back to Grafton Street I burst into tears. I cried 
every day for four days. 



I had always wanted to cut off my hair I never 
had very much but my friend had said, " You must 
never cut your hair off." The first thing that I did 
was to get it cut. To my delight it curled and I wore 
a fringe. I felt a sense of freedom. A large fair 
man, who was a poet, was brought to see me the day 
after I had come back. He came to see me every 
day at five o'clock, and after the fourth day my sobs 
ceased at that hour. He took me to dinner one 
evening at a restaurant called the Eiffel Tower. 
Some artists and poets went there. We had a very 
good dinner and the proprietor seemed very pleased 
to see him, I soon recovered from my passion and 
started to work again. He wrote me a poem which 
I still have, but as his handwriting is rather difficult 
I can only make out some of it. 

I sent a picture to the New English Art Club 
which was accepted and which was hung on the line, 
Epstein saw it and liked it very much and spoke 
about me to people. I knew a man called Redmond 
Howard; he was the nephew of John Redmond. 
He was a journalist and, like the rest of us, generally 
m financial difficulties. Once he pawned all his 
possessions and was left only with a top-hat and a 
frock coat. 

John Flanagan, the painter, lived in Fitzroy 
Street and he had supper parties consisting of 
sausages and mashed- One day a man came to my 
room and bought a drawing* Howard turned up 
and I said, " Let's go for a drink/' He replied, ** If 
you don't mind do buy me a pair of socks instead." 
We went to Berwick market and got a pair of socks- 


The old Jew who had the stall said to me, cc Vill you 
'ave some silk stockings very cheap ?" I said, 
" Oh no, that would be extravagant/ 3 And he said, 
" Oh no, it vill be an investment," and I was so 
flattered that he mistook me for a lady of loose 
morals that I took Redmond out and we spent all 
the money. 

One of the first night clubs was started in London 
at this time, 1913. It was started by Madame 
Strindberg, the second wife of the Swedish play 
wright. She had been a famous actress and beauty 
in Vienna when she was young. I had been taken 
to the Cafe Royal some weeks before by Henri 
where we would drink crime- de-menthef rappee. 

I had met Lilian Shelley, a beautiful girl who was 
on the stage. She sang at the " Cave of the Golden 
Calf/ 3 the name of the night club. It was decorated 
by Wyndham Lewis and several other artists, and 
Epstein had done sculptures for two of the columns. 
It was a really gay and cheerful place. Madame 
Strindberg brought a flock of Galician gipsies over 
and they played accordions and sang and danced. 
There were beautiful ladies and young Guardsmen 
and artists, and everyone had a good time. Madame 
Strindberg had a monkey and every evening at 
10.30 Lilian Shelley, who sang cc Popsy Wopsy " 
and " You made me love you " every night at the 
cabaret, was sent to the Savoy Hotel to feed it. 
Madame Strindberg gave dinner parties there. She 
was very fond of inviting people who disliked each 
other. These parties frequently ended in a free fight. 

I wore in the daytime a clergyman's hat, a check 



coat, and a skirt with red facings, including the 
button-hole, which was faced with red too. Walter 
Sickert always asked me, " When had I won the 
Legion of Honour?" I wore white stockings and 
men's dancing pumps and was stared at in the 
Tottenham Court Road. One had to do something 
to celebrate one's freedom and escape from home. 

One day the woman whom I had met in the ship 
when I returned from Russia, came to my room. 
She said, " What are you going to do now? " I said 
that I would like to go to Paris. She said, " I have 
twenty pounds in the bank doing nothing. Would 
you like to take it and go to Paris? " I said that I 
would. She sent me a cheque for thirty pounds and 
one day I packed my bags and went to Paris alone. 
In Paris I knew one of the beautiful Russian girls 
with whom I had been in Finland, and a gipsy. I 
arrived knowing only the French that I had learnt 
at the Royal School I went to a hotel in the Boule 
vard Raspail and took a room. The bed was very 
short and had a feather mattress, the room looked on 
to a courtyard and smelt horrible. The next day I 
visited my Russian and the gipsy who lived in the 
same hotel. I told them that I did not want to know 
any English-speaking people* The first evening I 
arrived in Paris, I went to a little restaurant in the 
Rue Campagne Premiere which was kept: by an old 
Italian woman called u Rosalie." She looked very 
distinguished and had a wonderful Roman nose. She 
had been a great beauty and a model of Whistler's. 
Epstein had recommended it to me, I sat down 
alone and began my dinner. Suddenly the door 


opened and in came a man with a roll of newspaper 
under his arm. He wore a black hat and a corduroy 
suit. He had curly black hair and brown eyes and 
was very good looking. He came straight up to me 
and said, pointing to his chest, " Je suis Modigliani, 
juif, Jew" unrolled his newspaper, and produced 
some drawings. He said, " Cinq Francs'" They 
were very curious and interesting, long heads with 
pupil-less eyes. I thought them very beautiful. 
Some were in red and blue chalk. I gave him five 
francs and chose one of a head in pencil. He sat 
down and we tried to understand each other and I 
said that I knew Epstein and we got on very well, 
although I could' not understand much of what he 

He used to drink a great deal of wine, and absinthe 
when he could afford it. Picasso and the really 
good artists thought him very talented and bought 
his works, but the majority of people in the Quarter 
thought of him only as a perfect nuisance and told 
me that I was wasting my money. Whenever I had 
any money to spare I would buy one of his drawings. 
Sometimes they would come down to three francs. 
Every morning he would come to the Rotonde with 
his drawings and he generally collected five francs 
before twelve o'clock. He was then quite happy 
and able to work and drink all day. I had an in 
troduction from a man in London to a Russian 
woman painter called Marie Wassilieff; she had 
been a pupil of Matisse and had now become a 
Cubist. She had an Academy where Fernand 
Leger was the professor. She lived in a large work- 



shop in the Avenue du Maine. There worked 
Russians., Germans, and Scandinavians, but no 
English or Americans. There were very good models 
posed with draperies and mimosa. Every afternoon 
from five to seven there was a sketch class with poses 
lasting from five minutes to half an hour. On 
Fridays two models posed together. One day a 
large negro and his wife sat. They giggled all the 
time and another negro sat on a chair with a guitar 
and played a whistle through his nose as we drew. 

Wassilieff and I became great friends. She did 
not speak any English and I learnt to speak fluent 
but bad French very quickly. Modigliani lived in 
the Boulevard Raspail in a studio with a garden; a 
watch was nailed on to a tree for him to see the 
time. He would often come home at two or three 
in the morning and start to carve stone. The neigh 
bours, hearing the tap, tap of his chisel decided 
that he was cc louftingue." I only went there once, 
I was rather frightened of him. I went round 
one afternoon. At that time he did not paint, but 
drew and sculpted. There was a long head with 
a very long nose that was broken. Modigliani said, 
<c Un soir il a tombt et il a cassd son ne%." What had 
really happened was that Modigliani came home 
feeling rather gay, bumped into it, and knocked it 
over. It is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum 
and its nose has been mended. One night he came 
home very drunk. He was very hot and he took 
off all his clothes and lay down in the garden on 
the flower-bed which was against the walls of the 
studio. In the early hours of the morning two cats 




had a love affair on the roof, and during the howling 
period, slipped and dropped down on his naked 
body. He woke up with a scream and ran up the 
Boulevard Raspail into the arms of an astonished 
policeman. Every night he would come to the 
Rotonde and sit beside me. He drew all the time 
and I watched him. When he got too drunk to 
draw he would put his head on my shoulder and go 
to sleep. I was rather embarrassed and sat straight 
up feeling proud but rather foolish. One day I 
went to the Salon des Independants. This was the 
year that Arthur Craven the nephew of Oscar 
Wilde's wife edited a paper called Maintenant, and 
wrote a criticism of the Independants. He stood 
outside and sold it himself for thirty centimes. He 
was at one time a champion boxer and it tickled the 
French, who wrote columns about the " ex- 
champion of France " who sold art criticisms outside 
the " Exposition des Independants. " The criticism 
was very funny and a great deal of it very true. He 
criticized celebrated female artists 3 figures and ap 
pearance rather than their talents. Of one lady he 
criticized her legs, which he did not approve of. 
Her lover, a distinguished critic, took exception to 
this and challenged him to a duel. He wrote in the 

next column of his paper, " Si Monsieur continue 

de m'emmerder avec ses challenges je tordrai ses parties 
sexuelles" He would also write such things as, 
" Nous sommes heureux d* entendre la mort de V acadtmicien 
Jules Leftbvre." I never met him but I saw him often 
sparring with negro boxers at Van Dongen's studio 
on Thursday afternoons. Van Dongen lived near 


the Boulevard St. Michel and all the critics came 
and drank liqueurs on Thursdays. In one corner 
boxing went on. One day they asked me to dance, 
so I took off all my clothes and danced in a black 
veil. Everyone seemed pleased, as I was very well- 
made. I met Zadkine, the sculptor. In the even 
ings Zadkine would sit in the Rotonde and draw still 
lives in pen-and-ink of glasses, packets of cigarettes, 
and pipes, or anything else that was on the 

On Saturdays everyone stayed out nearly all 
night. After the Rotonde closed at two we went to 
the Boulevard St. Michel. One night Wassilieff, 
Zadkine, Modigliani, myself and several others 
walked to a caf<. The atmosphere of the BouF Mich 3 
was very different to that of the Rotonde. There 
were many painted ladies and dull students of the 
Sorbonne, and sometimes business men who bought 
everyone drinks. We drank cheap red wine, and 
talked and laughed and sang. Zadkine and 
Modigliani bought me a large bunch of roses; I 
had a marvellous time and at seven-thirty a.m. they 
accompanied me to my hotel. 

I had a wonderful collection of stockings at that 
time and wore flat-heeled shoes with straps on them 
like children do. They made my feet look very 
large. They cost five francs and were worn by 
concierges. I had red stockings and yellow stockings 
and some that looked like a chess board. Modigliani 
would run after me up the Boulevard Raspail after 
the Rotonde had closed. He could always see me 
because of my loud stockings. One night he nearly 


caught me so I climbed up a lamp-post and waited 
at the top till he had gone. 

Zadkine had a studio in the Rue de Vaugirard. 
I said that my hair wanted cutting and he said, " I 
will borrow a pair of scissors from the concierge 
and will cut it for you. 53 He cut my hair like a 
Russian peasant, the same way that he wore his 
own and I looked like one of his sculptures. The 
fourteenth of July came. Nobody goes to bed in 
France for three days. They start on the evening 
of the thirteenth and nothing closes until the evening 
of the fifteenth. I went to the Avenue du Maine and 
bought a pair of French workmen's peg-top trousers. 
I borrowed a blue jersey and corduroy coat from 
Modigliani and a check cap. I also bought a large 
butcher's knife made of cardboard and silver paper 
at the Bon Marche. This I put in the long pocket 
which was meant either for knives as the Apaches 
wear them too or rulers. I dressed myself up and 
went out alone. I met Modigliani at the corner of 
the Rue Delambre and the Boulevard Montparnasse. 
He did not recognize me and when I produced the 
knife he ran away. I went to the Rotonde, where 
the waiters did not know me, and to a fair outside 
the Closerie des Lilas. I returned to the Rotonde 
and we danced in the streets all night and kept it 
up for three days. Afterwards everyone retired to 
bed for at least a day. About every two or three 
weeks dances were given in a big cafe in the Avenue 
du Maine; they cost three francs, and everyone 
went. They were always fancy dress and were very 
amusing. I generally wore my Apache costume. 



Once a woman friend of mine dressed herself up as 
a female Apache, with a black shawl and a red rose 
in her ear. She painted her face very much and we 
went round Montparnasse arm-in-arm. We looked 
so realistic that no one suspected that we were in 
fancy dress. Wassilieff gave her annual party. We 
collected Modigliani and the sculptor. Hunt Die- 
derich, who had just had a great success at the 
Salon des Ind6pendants with his " Levriers" Hunt 
went dressed as an Arab. He brought a huge 
copper kettle from his studio which he filled with 
beer, and we made Modigliani carry it. Guillaume 
Apollinaire was there. After a time Modigliani de 
cided to undress. He wore a long red scarf round 
his waist like the French workmen* Everyone knew 
exactly when he was going to undress, as he usually 
attempted to after a certain hour. We seized him and 
tied up the red scarf and sat him down. Everyone 
danced and sang and enjoyed themselves till the 

I went to the Salon d'Automne. There I saw a 
portrait of a young man. It was not a very good 
portrait but the young man so impressed me that 
I stood for a long time before it. It was of a youth 
of about twenty with a long pale face and slanting 
eyes, with his coat-collar turned up- He looked sad 
and hungry. That night at the Rotonde he walked 
in. He did not seem to know anybody. For 
months I stared at him and when Modigliani slept 
on my shoulder I looked over his curly head at the 
young man's pale face* He fascinated me and dis 
turbed my thoughts. I worked in the mornings at 


_^^ LIFE 

WassiliefPs and visited Museums in the afternoons. 
I drank cafe creme at the Rotonde. Life was so 
exciting that I had no time to drink. Sometimes if 
anyone was rich we drank champagne at fifty 
centimes a glass. 

One day Wyndham Lewis came from London in 
order to arrange for the publication of his Vorticist 
Magazine, Blast, in Paris. I had always got on very 
well with him and regarded him as a great man. I 
was delighted and flattered when he took my arm 
and walked down the Boulevard Montparnasse with 
me, explaining his ideas and the possibilities of the 
future. He spoke in French and addressed me in the 
second person singular, the only person who ever 
had; I found it difficult to reply as my grammar 
was very shaky. 

I heard that Arthur Ransome was in Paris. He 
introduced me to a very good-looking young man 
who was an aristocrat. He wore very old clothes, a 
large cloak, and a black hat, and wrote poetry, 
His shoes were never cleaned; he said that he was 
incapable of putting them outside the door at night. 
After I got to know him we sent a postcard every 
night addressed to him, cc Dear Basil, please put out 
your shoes in the morning/ 3 His name was not 
Basil, but that is what I shall call him. We had 
lunch at the Restaurant Leduc in the Boulevard 
Raspail. When we were having coffee I said, 
" Where does one find a bath here? I have not had 
one for weeks." Ransome looked horrified and 
they called a fiacre and told the driver to go to the 
nearest public baths. The building was by the Gare 



Montparnasse; it was of a circular pattern. Down 
stairs was for men and upstairs for women. Ran- 
soine bought me a piece of pink soap that floated, and 
a towel. I was taken upstairs by an old woman and 
Basil and Arthur remained downstairs. I scrubbed 
and scrubbed till the skin nearly came off. I got 
out and Ransome called from downstairs, " How 
are you getting on?" I said, "I have finished wash 
ing." He said., cc What! you can't possibly be clean, 
go back and do some more scrubbing." So I went 
back and splashed the water about until I was told 
that I could come out. We then went and drank 
some Vermouth Cassis, which is vermouth and a 
syrup and is drunk by the work girls. Basil was very 
good-looking and resembled Rupert Brooke, only 
that he was shorter. He liked me very much. I 
very nearly fell in love with him. He was a great 
success with women, and was rather spoilt and con 
ceited. I was told that he had treated a friend of 
mine very badly. He had visited her daily and 
implored her to marry him. She refused, but at the 
end of six months, when she actually did fall in love 
with him, he went off with a Frenchwoman. I 
could not see myself being treated like that and I 
rather despised him for being an aristocrat. I still 
shared Henri's sentiments to a great extent. 

In London the second Independant show was 
being held, this time at the Holland Park Skating 
Rink. I had sent a life-size nude painting of two 
women. People thought it rather vulgar. I also 
sent a portrait of Zadkine. Some of the critics liked 
it* Henri wrote for Blast, Wyndham Lewis's paper, 



and the Egoist. He sent me a postcard and on it was 
" I liked your works at Holland Park very much as 
you may have seen from my article in the Egoist" 
He wrote this of me: " Miss Hamnett cares much 
about representation. I was very interested to see 
a portrait of Zadkine the wood-carver. In this 
work there are great technical qualities of paste and 
drawing more amplified in the other portrait 
where carefully chosen blacks and violets create a 
very distinguished effect. I see from the quality of 
the c Women composition ' that the affinities of this 
artist are coming nearer to preference for abstract 

Henri did not like Zadkine. He knew him in 
London before he had gone to Paris. Zadkine 
carved trunks of trees into Apostles, and a large 
group of figures. Henri despised people who did 
not carve stone. This was not quite fair, as Zadkine 
carved stone too. Basil came to see me nearly every 
day. He asked me to marry him. I thought of my 
unfortunate friend and said "No." The more I 
refused the more persistent he became. 

I was, in fact, in love with the pale young man 
who sat at the Rotonde. Every evening Modigliani, 
WassiliefF, Hunt Diederich, his wife and I dined at 
Rosalie's. His wife, who was a Russian, designed 
and herself carried out, very beautiful embroideries. 
She drew at WassiliefFs Sketch Class. There were 
forty or fifty people there every evening and Modi 
gliani would come in and sit on the floor and draw. 
There was a very long staircase leading up to the 
workshop and we could hear him approaching if he 



was drunk, and stumbling upstairs. If he was too 
far gone we would chase him out. Sometimes he 
would make terribles noises and frighten the old 
ladies in the class. Everyone suspected that I had 
a good figure and they asked me to take my clothes 
off and dance. I said that I did not know any 
dances but they said that it did not matter. I still 
had feelings of modesty but, being inordinately vain 
and proud of my figure, one day I took off all my 
clothes. Somebody played Debussy's u Golliwog's 
Cakewalk " on the piano and I improvised a dance. 
This was a great success and so was the figure. I 
danced for them two or three times a week. Every 
one was charming and the old ladies brought me 
flowers. Zadkine and Modigliani drew as I danced. 
A German lady asked me to sit and carved a little 
statue in wood of me. I have forgotten her name, 
but she was quite talented in the Munich style. 
She did busts and painted them, including the eyes 
rather like the archaic Greek sculptures. 

Basil was a great friend of Isadora Duncan's* He 
told her about me. I did not want to dance and 
only pranced about for fun and to be admired. 
Wassilieff said that I was " Gothic." One day 
Hunt Diederich and his wife gave a party. They 
had some Russians who played balalaikas and sang. 
I danced to the balalaikas. I started by dancing in 
a veil and then took it off. A French millionaire was 
there and he wanted me to dance in a cabaret. I 
refused. I sat for Hunt and he did a frieze round a 
lampshade of me dancing round it in different atti 
tudes. The millionaire consoled himself by buying 



it for a respectable sum of money. About midnight 
a disturbance was heard outside accompanied by 
loud hangings on the door. This was Modigliani, 
who always appeared if he heard that I was dancing 
anywhere. Hunt threw him out. I was rather sorry 
as we could have sat him down in a corner. Hunt 
and his wife were great friends of his; they bought his 
drawings and were very good to him. One day he 
sold a stone head for a hundred francs. He adored 
Picasso, who wore a blue serge suit and a yellowish- 
brown cap. Modigliani went out and bought a blue 
suit and a yellowish brown cap. He strutted up and 
down outside the Rotonde to be admired. Unfor 
tunately towards the evening he got very drunk and 
fell into the gutter, covering the beautiful new suit 
with mud, and was very battered and sorry for him 
self the next morning. 

Augustus John knew him very well and bought 
two of his sculptures, which are now at his house at 
Chelsea. He gave him several hundred francs for 
them. This was before I knew either of them. 
Modigliani said that he was tired of Paris and the 
vile existence that he lived, and pined for Italy. 
He asked John not to give him all the money but 
enough to get to Italy, where he could live very 
cheaply, and send him the money in small sums at 
a time. He went to Italy and, after, wrote to say that 
he was well and happy, enjoying the pure atmo 
sphere and the sunlight, so far away from the 
temptations of Paris. John sent some more money 
and Modigliani took the next train back to 



One day he was asked to the house of a very rich 
man who was having a reception. He was intro 
duced to a woman with an exceptionally ugly but 
interesting face. He said, cc Madame, wire figure 
m'interesse tnormement: c'est la gueule la plus monstrti- 
euse queje rial jamais vue mais inUressante^ admirrrable 
du point de vue du dessin etje voudrais bien votis dessiner." 
The poor lady was very embarrassed, but later, I 
think, when she found out who he was, she sat for 
him. Modigliani always said " Admirrrable " when 
he saw something that pleased him. There was a 
very striking woman who came to the Rotonde, 
called Madame Bing. Her husband was Henry 
Bing, who worked on Simpticissimus, the German 
paper. She had a white face and short golden hair. 
She wore a long black cloak and a black hat. I 
asked her to sit for me and I painted a life-size 
portrait of her which was not bad (also mentioned 
by Henri in the Egoist). Wassilieff liked it. I 
did not paint Cubist pictures, although L^ger 
had given me two lessons and I had succeeded in 
painting a life-sized nude torso; this certainly had 
a certain influence of Cubism. 

I had a studio in a courtyard in the Boulevard 
Edgar Qpinet. It cost fifty francs a month, which 
was at that time two pounds. It belonged to an 
American painter called Lionel Walden, He 
painted seascapes in the Hawaiian Islands, which 
were a great success at the Salon and in America. 
He had some plaster casts of legs and arms. I gave 
a party one evening after I had sold a painting. We 
dressed ourselves up in sheets and black draperies 




and held the arms and legs close to our bodies, so 
that they stuck out of the draperies. It had a 
curious effect and looked very sur-realiste. 

The gipsy I knew when I came to Paris was called 
Fenella. She had been discovered, sitting on a 
doorstep in London, by Ransome. She had posed 
for Augustus John and I had seen several drawings 
of her at his exhibition at the Carfax Galleries. 
She looked like a bird. She had a very long neck 
and large rather protruding eyes. She wore a tight 
dress with silver buttons down the front and shoes 
like I did, with straps. She had the prettiest legs 
and smallest feet that I have ever seen. She played 
a guitar and sang. She spoke about ten languages 
and sang in sixteen, including Japanese. She was 
supposed to be consumptive and drank soda-water 
and milk. She had a drawer-full of louis d'or, one 
of which she lent me one day ajid which I gave back. 
She came to my party and sang. We bought bottles 
of wine at fifty centimes a bottle and it was quite 
drinkable. At five a.m. we went to the Rotonde 
and sat there till nine o'clock. 

Frederick Etchells, the painter, was living in 
Paris. He was a friend of Wyndham Lewis's. 

There was a very amusing and clever painter 
called Charles Winzer and every evening we three 
would meet at the Rotonde. We wrote poems. I 
wrote the last words of the poems, four of which had 
to rhyme and a fifth that did not, and they wrote 
in the poems. They were very funny and we spent 
the whole evening laughing at them. My friend 
Basil, whom I quarrelled with periodically, was cut 



off by his parents every few weeks and had to return 
to England to pacify his Mother. My thirty pounds 
was melting away and I feared that I would have to 
return to England. One day he came back having 
got quite a lot of money. I said, " I shall have to go 
back to London. " He said, " You must not go, I 
will buy two water-colours." So he gave me some 
money and I stayed on. One was a drawing I had 
done in 1912, when I stayed with a friend in Dorset. 
It was of a fair at Gorfe Castle and was quite good. 
Basil left them at my place as he was going to Italy; 
he never collected them as he never had a place to 
put them in, so I kept them for him. He was after 
wards killed in the War, and last year I had an Ex 
hibition in Berkeley Street at the Galitzine Gallery 
and exhibited " the Fair/' A strange man, whom I 
did not know, came and bought it for ten guineas. 
Basil was going to Italy with a friend of his; he 
wanted me to go too. He said, cc My friend, who is 
an elderly man, will chaperonc you." His friend 
arrived in Paris and I met a most; charming man 
who certainly was not over thirty. I did not go. 
They went and I received telegrams daily from 
Venice to join them. I think I was foolish not to 
have gone now, as I should have got into much less 
trouble than I did by staying in Paris. I clid not 
realize at the time how genuinely fond of me he was 
and I still hankered after the pale creature at the 
Rotonde. I regretted very much when I heard in 
1915 that he had been killed in Mesopotamia. I 
received a postcard from him, written the day before 
he died. 



In the Quarter were two Japanese. They were 
known as " Les Japonais" They were a great 
success at parties. One was Foujita, who has since 
become world famous, and the other was Kavashima 
who is also a well-known painter and spends his life 
in Germany and America. They were pupils of 
Raymond Duncan. They wove the material that 
their clothes were made of and made their own 
sandals. They wore their hair in fringes with bands 
of ribbon round their heads, and Greek robes and 
sandals. They danced Greek dances and worked 
all day. Diego Rivera, the Mexican artist, did a 
Cubist painting of them both together with square 
faces. It was exactly like them, although far from 
realistic. It was what Jean Gocteau would describe 
as "plus vrai que le vrai." 

Kisling, the Polish painter, came each evening to 
the Rotonde. He wore his hair with a fringe too. 
He was thin and very good-looking. He had a dis 
pute with a painter called Gottlieb and they 
arranged to fight a duel. Rivera was one of the 
seconds. They went out of Paris. A cinema man 
with a camera was there and we saw it on the pic 
tures the same evening. Kisling came to the 
Rotonde with a cut on his nose and was considered 
a great hero. I think that if he had washed the 
blood off it would not have been visible. Very 
seldom we went to Montmartre. I went once to the 
Lapin Agile. Ghil (note the pun) was an old man 
who looked like the cc old man of the sea." He wore 
a fur cap and had a long beard. This was the 
cabaret where Picasso and Max Jacob and all the 



famous painters and writers went years before 3 when 
the artists lived in Montmartre, and when it was 
really cheap and very gay. I took a violent dislike to 
the old man and could not go there without having 
a row with him. There was a life-size plaster cast 
of Christ, on which the students had carved their 
names; it was carved from head to foot with signa 
tures and looked as if it was suffering from smallpox. 
I believe that I signed it too. We drank small plums 
in Kirsch and poets recited bad poems and Monsieur 
Ghil played a very fine guitar. I did not like the 
atmosphere of Montmartre, or the people, and I 
think only went there twice during my whole stay. 
I went to the Moulin Rouge once and saw elderly 
ladies in long skirts doing the can-can. That was 
fun as they looked just like the drawings of Toulouse 
Lautrec, and, in fact, I think were the same ladies 
having grown considerably older. 

The Cafe du D6me was opposite the Rotonde. 
It was filled with Germans and Americans. I very 
seldom went there. The Americans had a poker 
game every evening. This continued for about 
twenty years, and only broke up a few years ago. 
I did not know any Americans, but Basil used to 
play poker with them in the evenings, and some 
times made quite a lot of money which we would 
spend together. He would tell me funny stories 
about them. A large man with a red beard went 
out to the other side of the river to dine with his 
relations. He wore a dinner jacket. After he had 
disposed of his relatives he went to Montmartre 
and then to " Les Halles," where everyone ended 


amongst the cabbages and onions. He returned 
to Montparnasse in a very battered condition at 
eight-thirty in the morning. Along the Boulevard 
Montparnasse was a tramway, and the road between 
the tram-lines was dug up for repairs, leaving a hole 
about six feet deep. The red-bearded man felt 
sleepy and got down the hole and went to sleep. 

About an hour later the noise of the trams woke 
him up and he appeared like " Venus rising from 
the Ocean/ 3 and rose up in the middle of the street. 
Many nice old ladies and their daughters, who were 
studying Art, were having breakfast on the terrace 
of the Rotonde and the Dome and were shocked 
and surprised at this strange sight. 
Every Friday evening I went to Lavenue's, which 



is opposite the Gare Montparnasse. I went with 
Madame Bing and three other Germans. One was 
a professor of mathematics. He did not like being 
accosted by strange ladies in cafes, so he would sit 
when he was alone, with a piece of paper stuck into 
the ribbon of his bowler hat with " Sourd-Muet " 
written on it. They talked of how the Germans 
were going to kill all the English very soon. I pro 
tested, but they said, " You will see, and quite soon 
too." Although they were very nice to me I think 
they got great pleasure in trying to frighten me. I 
knew nothing whatever about politics or the Euro 
pean situation and it did not worry me at all. 
Occasionally we would go to the downstairs' bar at 
the Caf6 du Panth6on in the BouF Mich 3 . There 
were many students and very many painted prosti 
tutes there. Sprigs of white lilac were sold and 
presented to the ladies. I was rather shocked and 
thought that the white lilac was much too pure and 
beautiful to be presented to such obvious harpies. 

On Friday nights the literary people assembled at 
the Closerie des Lilas. The great man there was 
Paul Fort, and everybody sat round and listened to 
him. He wore a large black hat and long hair and 
certainly looked like a poet. Alexandre Mercereau 
was there too; I knew him, but I never met Paul 
Fort. The poets did not really like the artists com 
ing there, but we sat in a corner and looked im 
pressed, so they got used to us. I wore a jumper 
made on the same pattern as those Henri and I wore 
in London, only it was of a large cubist design in 
blue, orange, and black. No one in Paris had seen 






anything quite like it and although Sonia Delaunay 
was already designing scarves, this was more start 
ling. It was made and designed for the Omega 
Workshops by Roger Fry. I have it on in the 
photograph of the dance in the Avenue du Maine, 
where Modigliani is standing in the background. 
In the Rue de la Gaite is the Gaite Montparnasse, a 
music hall rather like the " Old Bedford/' At the 
back of the stalls are boxes. We used to go once a 
week. The gallery cost fifty centimes. Modigliani 
came with us, too. About twelve of us went one 
night and sat in a row on a very narrow and hard 
plank in the gallery. Modigliani sat on the end and 
pusned and pushed. We all pushed together and he 
fell off the end, so in disgust he left us and went to 
the bar. There were very funny and very vulgar 
revues with the usual bedroom scenes and simple- 
minded jokes that made the French workpeople roar 
with laughter. The last time I was in Paris I went 
there, but it had all been redecorated in horrible 
colours in an attempt to be very modern. One day 
I met Archipenko, the sculptor. He sculpted 
statues in tin and wood and exhibited at the Salon 
des Independants. He painted his statues in bright 
colours and had a very fine sense of colour. He was 
a tall man with a reddish beard and deep set eyes. 
I went to his studio with a sculptor whom I knew. 
He had a wonderful musical instrument with about 
twenty strings that looked like a harp. It was in 
vented and made by a sailor and he had bought it 
and could play Russian tunes on it. Archipenko had 
pupils. There were two very beautiful German girls 



who had come to study the abstract. They were 
very rich and the elder one kept a monkey and took 
a large studio. She drank ether and once went out 
for the evening leaving the bottle of ether by the 
stove. When she came home later she found one 
of the walls of the studio had been blown out. 

I had sent the money that I had to a bank in 
England and received a money order once a fort 
night. One day I went to the Post Office and found 
that the duplicate of the money order had not arrived 
and that I was penniless till Monday. A girl whom I 
knew said that she posed for an elderly American and 
would I take her job on for two days as she had to go 
to the country. He lived in the Boulevard Arago, 
He had a studio flat there. I was shown into the 
studio and the door was shut. I could hear the voices 
of rich-sounding women and felt like a housemaid 
who was looking for a situation. He put his head 
through the door and told me to undress. I took my 
clothes off and he eventually appeared. He grum 
bled at my figure and said there was not enough of it, 
I was furious and took a violent dislike to him. He 
made me sit in a most impossible pose which nearly 
broke my back, and did some dreadful drawings. He 
quite obviously disliked me as much as I disliked him. 
He then returned to his rich ladies and I dressed 
myself. He came back and gave me two francs-fifty. 
Two francs-fifty was half-a-crown in those days 3 and 
the usual fee. I sat for him the next day and then 
fortunately my money came. This was my first 
experience as a professional model. I had others 
later, but they were more agreeable. 



Aleister Crowley was in Paris and I saw him from 
time to time. He always went out at midday to say 
a prayer to the sun. One day I met him in the 
Boulevard Montparnasse. Suddenly he stopped in 
the middle of the street and addressed the sun. I 
did not know the prayer in question, so respectfully 
stood behind him until he had finished. In the 
Quarter was a very celebrated artist's model. She 
was very beautiful and everyone had enjoyed her 
favours except Crowley. Someone said to A. C., 
" You really must take her out to supper and see 
what she is really like." The next morning everyone 
was having breakfast in the Dome and Crowley 
appeared. They cried, " Hullo, A. C., what was it 
like? " and he said rather grimly, cc It was rather 
like waving a flag in space. 5 ' 

One day Beatrice Hastings came to Paris. She 
had been a great friend of Katherine Mansfield's 
and was a very talented writer. She edited the New 
Age with Orage. It was about the most interesting 
and well-written paper in London before the War. 
She had an introduction to me. She was very 
amusing. I introduced her to Modigliani and we 
all spent the evening together at the Rotonde. 
They drank absinthe, as Beatrice had some money. 
They gave me one too, and I felt very daring, as I 
had never tasted it. After my first sip, which I 
thought horrible and reminded me of cough drops, 
Hunt Diederich appeared and threw the rest into 
the umbrella stand. I sat with Beatrice and Modig 
liani in the evenings, and one evening the young 
man with the pale face came in. I said to Beatrice, 


" I think that young man looks very interesting and 
I should like to meet him. 33 To my embarrassment 
she darted over to him and brought him across. He 
seemed very shy and did not say very much. Zad- 
kine came in . later and asked us all back to his 
studio. Beatrice, I, and the young man went 
along. Zadkine had a studio in the Rue Rousselet. 
The young man and I sat on the roof among the 
chimney-pots until the morning. I thought him 
very interesting and romantic. We afterwards went 
and sat in a cafe opposite the Gare Montparnasse. 
The young man said his name was Edgar. He 
would not disclose his surname. He said that he 
was a Norwegian and understood Scandinavian, but 
refused to speak it. He talked perfect French and 
German. I was very much intrigued with him. 
He appeared to be always broke and said that he 
lived in La Ruche, near the Porte de Versailles. 
He talked of the wonderful furniture and library 
that he had there. I was not asked to visit him. 
One evening he came back to my studio in the 
Boulevard Edgar Qjiinet He stayed there with me. 
There was a small window very high up near the 
roof, and every night a black cat would jump up 
from the roof outside and sit there. When the moon 
was full it rose just behind the cat and silhouetted it. 
The evening he came the cat appeared, and seeing 
that I was not alone, vanished, and never came 
back again. 

The young man appeared to be a complete 
mystery. I was by this time desperately in love 
with him. Whether he liked me or not I have never 



been able to discover. Basil was not at all pleased 
about it and it disturbed him a good deal. 

Edgar stayed at my place sometimes and some 
times went to his mysterious residence. This was 
about the twenty-fifth of July 1914. One day I went 
to eat by myself in a small workmen's restaurant, op 
posite Wassilieff's studio, in the Avenue du Maine. I 
was suddenly seized with an indescribable feeling of 
horror. I turned cold and sick and laid down my 
knife and fork to stare at the blank wall opposite, 
unable to eat. I thought that something terrible 
was about to happen and imagined that it would 
take the form of a punishment for me for having had 
such a good time. 

Little did I think that that punishment would 
wreck not only my life but the lives of millions of 
others during the four bitter years ahead. 



THERE was a feeling of agitation and unrest in the 
atmosphere. On the second of August War was 
declared on Germany. There was pandemonium. 
No one had any papers. I had no passport and 
Edgar had no papers at all except a mysterious 
birth certificate with a German name that I had 
not heard before. We had two weeks in which to 
get papers and register ourselves. My beautiful 
Russian friend went away and said that Edgar and 
I could live in the studio, which we did. 

Nobody had any money. Paper money was refused 
everywhere. Only gold and silver were accepted. 

On the third of August the mob stormed the 
Laiterie Maggi, which was a German firm* They 
killed several Germans and broke all the milk-shops. 
Everyone said that we would starve. Wassilicff 
started dinners at her studio at one franc-fifty, with 
one Caporal Bleu cigarette and one glass of wine 
thrown in. We all went every evening and Modig- 
liani too. A Swiss painter did the cooking. Oddly 
enough, a few days before the declaration of War, 
all the Germans vanished from the Qjiartcr. The 
last days of the time given for registry of ourselves 
were nearing their end. I implored Edgar to go to 
the police, but he refused; he appeared to think that 
he was superior to the police force. An American 
woman sculptor gave me sittings, and so I was able 
to earn enough money to live on, 

People said that the War could not possibly last 



more than two months and that we need not 

I had gone to the British Consul, who had given 
me a paper with which I could identify myself and 
get back to England. The time for registration had 
expired and one day two policemen appeared at my 
studio and took Edgar and me off to the police 
station. I was locked up for the afternoon and 
asked what I knew about him. He produced the 
birth certificate with the German name on it 5 and 
as they knew that he had known many Germans 
as we all did, they thought that he was a spy. 
They asked him to hand over his gun. He pro 
duced two dirty handkerchiefs and one sou. They 
let me out later on, but threw him into the Prefec 
ture which was filled with all kinds of people who 
could not produce papers. They slept on straw, all 
together. There were millionaires with gold watches, 
and every kind of person, and there they waited till 
something happened. I was so unhappy that my 
American sculptress asked me to stay with her and 
her husband, and fed me, and they were very kind as 
I had no idea how long Edgar would be kept in 
prison, or what would happen afterwards. I col 
lected enough money to get my fare to England. This 
was an appalling prospect as it meant returning 
home and I really began to think that my life was 
at an end. The future seemed completely without 
hope of any kind. 

I took the train to Dieppe. When I got there I 
found that there were no boats going to England. 
I had about twenty francs. A porter took me to a 



rather grand-looking hotel down a side street leading 
to the sea. I took the cheapest and smallest room 
that I could find, A whole girls' school was there. 
They had come from a tour of Switzerland and were 
in the same position as I was. I could not afford to 
eat at the hotel, so I bought myself bread and cheese 
and ate it on the seashore. I went to the old church, 
which has a group of golden statues with Jesus 
Christ in the Manger, surrounded by the Wise Men 
and the Virgin Mary. I bought a candle and lit it 
for Edgar. I also said a prayer, and afterwards 
wondered if it would be registered in Heaven as I 
was not a Roman Catholic. 

For three days there were no boats and I was be 
ginning to feel very hungry. On the third day a 
boat sailed. I had a ticket as far as Newhaven* 
During the daytime I sat on the quays. I had some 
coloured chalks with me and did quite a lot of draw 
ings, I just managed to pay the hotel bill and had 
two pennies left. By this time nothing seemed to 
matter. The boat did not go to Newhaven but to 
Folkestone. When I got to Folkestone I went to the 
station-master and said, " All I have is twopence 
and I want to get to London. " As a matter of fact 
many people were in the same position. He was 
very kind, and after I had given the name and 
address of my parents he put me into a first-class 
carriage. The railway company sent the bill in and 
were kind enough to charge only the third-class 
fare. I was extremely hungry, having had nothing 
to eat for twenty- four hours. When I got to Victoria 
I was able to take the Underground home, as two- 



pence was just the fare. I was almost in rags when 
I arrived and the family were not any more pleased 
to see me than I was to see them. 

Edgar wrote me postcards now and then. One I 
have never been able to understand. It was sent 
from the Prefecture of Police. As he always talked 
in parables I presumed it meant that he loved me. 
If I had decided that it did not I might have had the 
sense to stay in England and join the W.A.A.C.'s 
and have helped or hindered the Great War. 

Basil was in London at the time and one day he 
introduced me to Augustus John. I never knew 
until then that he came from Tenby. We got on 
quite well and, of course, found that we knew every 
one there. 

One day I went to see Henri. He was very 
pleased to see me. We bought a bag of plums and 
walked to Richmond Park. We were both very 
gloomy and sat on the grass amongst the bracken. 
Henri knew the antelopes quite well and some of 
them came up to be patted. He did many drawings 
there. We sat silently and ate the plums. Henri 
said, " I shall have to go to France and fight and if 
I go I know quite well that I shall never come back/ 3 
and I felt that he never would either. We walked 
silently back to his workshop under the arch and had 
tea and I went home. 

This was the last time that I saw him as, when I 
came back from France, he had already left. 

Everyone was very depressed at this time and no 
one knew what was going to happen. Basil was very 
kind to me and asked me what I proposed to do 



about the future. I said that I could not imagine, 
but that if Edgar got out of gaol, I should probably 
return to Paris and bring him back. 

One day I got a letter from him to say that he was 
released and allowed to stay in Paris for the duration 
of hostilities. Basil gave me five pounds and said, 
that if I really loved him I had better go back and 
join him. Everyone said I was mad but I did not 
mind, and took a train to Folkestone. We arrived 
at Boulogne. There were two other English people 
on the train. The train took thirty hours to get to 
Paris. There was nothing to eat, and if the French 
peasants had not been at each station with food 
for the soldiers, and were kind enough to give us 
some bread and cheese, we would have had nothing. 
I was in a carriage with five French postmen who 
were going to Paris to join up. They had some bottles 
of wine and cider. I gave them two farthings to 
bring them luck. We arrived at Arras and had to 
get out as we heard that the Germans were some 
where in the neighbourhood. The station was filled 
with soldiers who had come from a battle. They 
were all bandaged up and covered with blood. I sat 
down with them and rather felt that to be taken a 
prisoner by the Germans would be the simplest way 
of getting out of it all. The train then went on and 
we got to another station. 

A motor-car appeared with three French officers 
in it. They said to the engine-driver, " Go on at 
once, the Germans are three kilometres away.'* So 
we went on. The other two English people were 
old ladies, both married to Frenchmen. I spotted 


the sale bourgeois at once by their faces and took 
a dislike to them. We got out at another station and 
sat on the platform. One sat on either side of me. 
They talked about religion, and the efficacy of 
prayer. I said I didn't think so highly of it and they 
said I was an atheist and left me. A train came in 
carrying more soldiers who had come from another 
battle. I found them more sympathetic. The train 
went on and we got to Paris. 

I met Edgar at the Rotonde. He seemed pleased 
to see me. I had one hundred francs in five franc 
pieces, which I had tied up in a stocking. I took a 
room in the hotel where I had first stayed in Paris. 

Every afternoon the Germans came in Taubes and 
dropped bombs. We all thought this very exciting 
and would lean out of the window of the hotel to 
watch the bombs dropping. The bombs did not kill 
people, but the shells that the French shot at them 
did. I was watching the fun one afternoon and 
something whizzed past my head. It was a bullet, 
and went through the hotel window downstairs. 
We found it on the floor with the end of it bent. As 
I only had a hundred francs Edgar said that I had 
better come and live in La Ruche, near the Porte de 
Versailles, his mysterious residence. I moved in. 
La Ruche was a large garden and in the middle was 
a circular building filled with studios. The studios 
were triangular and it was like a cake cut in pieces. 
His studio was in the garden and living there was 
a Russian admiral's daughter. There was a gallery 
which one had to climb a ladder to reach. Several 
rungs were missing from it. The Russian admiral's 



daughter drank wine during the daytime and 
methylated spirits all night at my expense. She 
also stole my only night-dress, which was a calico 
relic and had originally belonged to my Grand 
mother. In the mornings we sent her to the soup 
kitchen to buy some stew, which we lived on. In 
the studio opposite lived an artist's model who 
brought us lobsters. She had been to the Bal des 
Qjaatz Arts and had brought a souvenir home. It 
was a model of the guillotine and we sat and admired 
it. There were no newspapers in Paris and every 
day we heard the German guns getting nearer and 

Edgar found a large spider in the garden and did 
drawings of it every morning. 

WassiliefF had her dinner parties every evening 
and her place was filled. A tall Russian from the 
Volga played the lute and sang to us and we tried 
to be as cheerful as possible. 

Modigliani was living in the Rue St, Gothard and 
Edgar and I went to see him. He had a large studio 
which was very untidy and round the wall there 
were gouache drawings of caryatids* They were 
very beautiful and he said, " Choose one for your 
self." The bed was unmade and had a copy of 
Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Les Chants de Maldoror 
upon it. Modigliani said that this book was the one 
that had ruined or made his life. Attached to the 
end of the bed was an enormous spider-web and in 
the middle an enormous spider* He explained that 
he could not make the bed as he had grown very 
much attached to the spider and was afraid of 



disturbing it. This was the last time that I saw him 
as, soon afterwards, he went to Nice. 

I was still sitting for the American sculptress and 
so we had enough money to live on. 

The German guns were getting nearer and nearer 
and the Government had gone to Bordeaux. Out 
side the Gare Montparnasse were long queues of 
people going to Bordeaux with all their belongings. 
We went to see Brancusi, the sculptor, every after 
noon. He lived in the Rue Montparnasse. He had 
two workshops and lived in a little room. He was 
very like a saint and played a guitar and sang 
Rumanian songs. He talked to us about life and 
cheered us up. Basil was in Paris again. He could 
not join the Army as he had a bad knee. He asked 
me what I was going to do. I said that I had better 
go back to England. I should, of course, have gone 
to Nice where many artists went and lived very 

One day Edgar and I went to the Cimetiere 
Montparnasse. We used to go there sometimes and 
sit under the trees and read. It was very quiet. 
We would bring a bottle of cheap wine with us. 

One afternoon Edgar said, " How much does it 
cost to get married in England? " and I said, cc I 
think about seven-and-sixpence," and he said, " Let 
us get married! " I said that I didn't mind if I did. 
We had no money to get to England however, and 
I had been in Paris about six weeks. Basil lent or 
rather gave me some money and we took a train to 
Le Havre. Edgar had no papers except the birth 
certificate and when I got to Le Havre I had to see 



the British Consul. I told him that this was my 
fianct and I was taking him to England to marry 
him and he passed us through. I took him home 
to my parents, who were not at all pleased that I 
was going to marry a foreigner, especially as he was 
completely penniless and knew no English. After 
three weeks we got married. My Father paid the 
wedding licence. Everyone was very gloomy, in 
cluding myself. We took two attics in Camden 
Town. The rent was seven-and-sixpence a week. 
We had very little furniture. I took Edgar to the 
Omega Workshops and Mr. Fry gave us both some 

Henri had already gone to France and Basil was 
trying to get into the Army. He finally persuaded 
a grand relation to use her influence and he got a 
commission in a Scottish regiment and appeared 
looking very magnificent in a kilt. He was very 
sorry that I had got married, and so was I. We 
went out and drank some drinks together and talked 
about the hopelessness of the future. He went to the 
War a few days later and was killed in Mesopotamia 
in 1915. 

Edgar and I met many interesting people at the 
Omega. There were many Belgian refugees, musi 
cians, and actors, and Madame Vandervclde, who 
was very good to them all and acted and recited in 
order to raise funds to help them. She also bought 
some of our pictures. Edgar decorated her flat for 
her and so we managed to live. She was a very 
brilliant and amusing woman and had extremely 
good taste in Art. Edgar suggested to Mr, Fry that 



they should have a musical performance of De 
bussy's " Boite a Joujoux" and that he should make 
and work the marionettes for it. This he did. We 
all worked the marionettes. We lay on our stomachs 
and pulled the wires. He cut them out of card 
board with a knife. We had a fine orchestra of 
Belgians and a good audience and they made some 

After the arrival of the Belgians, Charlotte Street 
became very gay. There were Bal Musettes all up 
the street. A big Belgian played an accordion and 
everyone danced and a hat was taken round after 
for halfpennies, as they do in France and Belgium 
in workpeople's dances. We worked at the Omega 
for so many hours a day and often had lunch with 
Roger Fry, who had a room in Fitzroy Street, where 
he painted. He did several paintings of me, one of 
which was at his last show in Bond Street. Vanessa 
Bell and Duncan Grant worked sometimes at the 
Omega Workshops. She was very beautiful and had 
a wonderful deep voice. I used to go home and 
attempt to lower my voice too. I think I succeeded 
to a certain extent after some practice. They 
painted batiks and boxes and turned out some fine 
work. I was never very good at decorative work. 
I met Edward Carpenter one day at lunch at Mr. 
Fry's. He was a saintly old gentleman with a grey 
beard and a grey shirt. Walter, now Richard, 
Sickert lived in Fitzroy Street also, in fact he had 
a number of mysterious rooms for miles around as 
far as Camden Town. Edgar and I sat for him 
together, on an iron bedstead, with a tea-pot and a 



white basin on a table in front of us. We looked the 
picture of gloom. 

We went every evening to the Cafe Royal and 
frequently walked home to Camden Town as we 
seldom had the 'bus fare. We could stay the whole 
evening there on a fourpenny coffee in those days. 

Edgar had made friends with some people whom I 
considered dull, common, and boring, so he often 
went out with them and I stayed at home. He 
seemed to think that I should always be at home 
waiting for him and once, when I went out to 
dinner with an elderly man I had known for years, 
an awful argument took place and we threw sauce 
pans at each other. I got so bored with this and 
being so poor, as there was not always work at the 
Omega, that I fell in love with a tall dark man 
whom I had met at the Caf<6 RoyaL He talked 
about Greek Islands and black olives. He was a 
writer and had studied the piano and had most 
beautiful hands. He talked and talked about 
things which I did not understand at all. For three 
weeks I thought of nothing else but him, and would 
even walk up and down streets in which I thought 
I might get a glimpse of him. I would buy myself 
dinners at the " Sceptre," the restaurant behind the 
Caf(6 Royal, where I had gone with Henri. The tall 
man seemed rather amused at me. After about 
three weeks of thinking about him I saw him at the 
restaurant. He was alone, and asked me to have 
some coffee with him. My heart beat so rapidly 
that I shook all over. He told me that he was en 
gaged to be married and I, with a choking feeling in 


my throat, said that I would like to meet his fiance. 
I went home and cried a good deal and a few days 
later met her. The passion immediately died, and 
she and I became great friends and I painted several 
portraits of her. It was trying, many years later, 
after he and his wife had parted and he was quite 
alone, when we had some drinks together in Paris 
and I told him of the great passion that I had had. 
He was very much surprised and said, seizing my 
hand, " Don't you think those things could ever be 
revived/' and I said, " I am afraid they couldn't/' 
and he was very sad. However we are still friendly 
and he has become a very celebrated man and is 
now happily married. 

I was getting more and more bored with Edgar 
who was daily becoming more soulful, and spoke in 
parables which I had long since given up at 
tempting to understand. He bought some wooden 
blocks and did some woodcuts. These were very' 
interesting and he sold a few. The painter, Ben 
jamin Corea, lived in an attic in the next house. 
He was even poorer than we were. I would buy 
two pennyworth of bones twice a week and make a 
stew, and on this and porridge and margarine, we 
all three lived. One day someone bought a drawing 
so I bought some real butter. Edgar and I had a 
dispute about people with Victorian ideas, which 
I said he had, and he threw the plate and the butter 
at me. I was so upset about the butter that I forgot 
to throw anything back. I looked despairingly 
round and saw it sticking to the wall. It was still, 
fortunately, quite eatable. One day a rich aunt 



appeared to see how we were getting on. She advised 
me to try a certain brand of margarine which cost 
ninepence. I said I only paid fivepence-halfpenny. 
She did not however leave the extra threepence- 
halfpenny behind. Soon after this my uncle, her 
husband, paid our rent, so that was a help. I am 
afraid that sometimes when we were very poor I 
spent the money on food and got into debt with the 
landlord. They were working-class people and, 
unlike many that I know, perfect beasts. We were 
naturally regarded with the greatest suspicion, 
having a German name. 

I urged Edgar to go to the police and register 
himself. Everything was so unsettled that I think 
they had forgotten about him for the time being. 

One day a District Visitor appeared and asked 
him what religion he belonged to. He said that he 
was a " Hedonist, 5 ' so she went away. We met the 
painter, Foujita, one of Les Japonais in Paris; he 
was delighted to see us as he was just as poor as we 
were. He only became famous in Paris after the 
War. He still made his own clothes and wore his 
hair the same way, but without the Greek band. 
He wore strangely shaped baggy trousers and a black 
velvet jumper, which hung outside, and a leather 
belt. People called him the " Eskimo/ 3 He 
lived with some friends in Chelsea and did charm 
ing frescoes in their kitchen of antelopes and 
flowers. Someone afterwards took the house and 
said that they did not care for other people's 
decorations, and had them whitewashed, I think 
they are now sorry. 


On Sundays, Foujita, Edgar, and I, went home 
to my parents for lunch; this was frequently the 
only decent meal we had during the week. My 
Father became quite human, and in the afternoons 
we all played " heads, bodies, and legs." That is the 
game where everyone draws a head and leaves two 
lines indicating where the next person should begin 
the body. The pieces of paper were then passed to 
the next person and then again until the legs were 
done. The drawings were very funny and some of 
them very good. 

Foujita was a charming character and had the 
most terrible ' struggles before he became famous. 
I last saw him when I stepped off a boat on the 
He de Brehat, in Brittany. I had not seen him for 
three or four years. He was sitting on the terrasse 
of a cafe. His hair had turned very grey. He had 
large gold earrings on and wore red horn-rimmed 
spectacles. He was with his wife, who was very 
chic and beautifully made up. There was another 
Japanese with them. I waved to him and he said 
" Bonjourninahamnett" as if he had only seen me the 
day before. We sat down and talked about the old 
days. I was sorry that I had to go back to Paimpol 
that day, where I was staying opposite, as I believe 
they had wonderful parties every day with bathing, 
singing, and drinking. 

One day I went to dinner with a woman friend 
of mine in Clifford's Inn. We had dinner and some 
wine, and suddenly there was a strange whizzing 
sound and she said, rather nervously, " What is 
that? " I said, " That is only a motor-'bus." She 



said, cc Have another cigarette and some port/ 5 
which I did. There was a terrific crash and we 
both went outside and in the sky was a thing that 
looked like a golden pencil. This was the first 
Zeppelin. We then heard several other crashes 
fairly near, but getting further away. I had to 
catch a 68 'bus to get to Chalk Farm. When I got 
to Chancery Lane it was about six inches deep in 
water. A bomb had hit a water main and a gas 
main, and the water was rushing down the street. 
I was annoyed as I had a pair of new shoes on and 
got them wet. The Strand was several inches deep 
in broken glass, as nearly all the windows had been 
broken. When I got to Wellington Street a huge 
green flame sprung up opposite the Gaiety Theatre. 
I thought that another bomb had dropped and sat 
down in the doorstep of a bank, thinking that death 
was rapidly approaching. 

I thought of my wicked life, and of my Father and 
my Grandmother, with a certain sentimental regret. 
As nothing happened I got up and thought that I 
would go to the Cafe Royal. The people in the 'bus 
that I should have taken, if I had not had another 
cigarette and a drink, were sitting in the 3 bus with 
their heads blown off, as a bomb had dropped out 
side. I took a 'bus to the Caf<5 Royal by the Savoy 
Hotel. In it were two Japanese. The evening 
cloak of one was torn to bits. He had been inside 
the Gaiety Theatre, but fortunately, his cloak had 
been hanging up in the cloak room. We all talked 
together of what had happened. In Paris in 1920 
I met him. I said, " I have met you in London," 



He did not remember me but did when I reminded 
him of the air raid. The cafe was in an uproar and 
everyone drank to celebrate their escape. Edgar 
and I saw the daylight air raid from our attic 
windows. It was a fine sight, and they were in 
wonderful formation, like a flock of birds surrounded 
by the little white puffs of smoke of the British guns. 

One day I became so ill that I went home to my 
Father and Mother, who, although they disapproved 
of me, still liked to see me. My family lived at 
Acton and during the night I had a dream. I 
dreamt of noises which tapped and tapped. Sud 
denly I woke up and looked out of the window. I 
saw what I thought were fireworks, a big golden pen 
cil diving to the earth. I came into my Father and 
Mother's room and said, " Please wake up, I think 
there must be a Zeppelin falling down." My 
Father said, cc Go to sleep and don't disturb me." 
I said, " You must wake up and come into the 
garden," and he did and we saw it break in half 
and come down in a rain of golden showers. This 
was the Cuffley Zeppelin. 

We visited the poetess, Anna Wickham, some 
times. She lived in a beautiful old house in Hamp- 
stead. It had an apple orchard and Dick Turpin 
had lived there once. There we met Richard 
Aldington and his wife. They were Imagist poets. 
Richard had known Henri very well and had some 
of his work. 

In 1913, when I first met Anna Wickham, I had 
influenza very badly. I was living alone and did 
not want to go home to my family. She was kind 



enough to invite me to her house and to look after 
me. I stayed in bed and had a room overlooking 
the garden. Several times a week D. H. Lawrence, 
his wife, and Katharine Mansfield came to see Anna. 
Mrs. Lawrence and Katharine sat by my bedside 
and talked to me. D. H. Lawrence sang hymns for 
hours in the drawing-room. This was not awfully 
cheerful. I had never seen him and was told not to 
get out of bed on any account as my temperature 
was nearly a hundred and four. One day I heard 
voices in the garden. I heard Anna and a man's 
voice and got out of bed and saw a man with 
reddish hair walking amongst the apple trees, 
talking to Anna. That was the only time I ever saw 
Lawrence and never met him at all. 

The Cafe Royal and other places closed early 
during the War and we found an Armenian caf<6 at 
the back of Shaftesbury Avenue. There everyone 
went. Epstein, Michael Arlcn, John Cournos, in 
fact every inhabitant of the cafe. We drank 
Turkish coffee and ate Turkish delight and I think 
that the conversation, as the result of the Turkish 
coffee, was better than that; of the crime de menthe 
frappfe. There was an old man who spoke on soap 
boxes in Hyde Park who went there one day; he 
decided to take to painting. He used to buy old 
oil paintings from the Caledonian market and other 
places and touch them up and exhibit them in the 
Armenian caf<6. He had a one-man show there. 
He also painted spirits. One day I saw him in 
Charlotte Street. He had a costermonger's barrow 
with him and it was loaded with the tops of old 


hansom cabs. I said to him, " My dear Arthur, 
what are you going to do with these? " He said, 
" You see, dear, I think they will be so useful to 
paint on." 

He was reputed to have been found in the cellar, 
in which he lived, in bed with a policewoman; and 
her helmet and baton were hanging by a nail on 
the wall as a souvenir. 

I saw him last in the Fitzroy Tavern. He came 
in looking just the same this was about ten years 
later his beard had grown nearly white; he had 
a sack on his back, and his coat was still fastened 
with safety pins. He bought a large jug of beer and 
filled everyone's glass. I hear that he is now respect 
ably married. 

One day someone took me to the studio of Lady 
Constance Stuart Richardson. She lived in an old 
Criminal Law Court near Sloane Square. There 
was a party and everyone brought bottles. 

It was a huge place with many rooms. I stayed 
the night there in a large Greek bedstead. Several 
other people stayed in different places and we had 
breakfast in the morning. The others had to go to 
work at various offices, and Constance and I sat in 
front of the fire and talked and got on very well 
indeed. I had known a cousin of hers who had been 
killed. She was a most charming and interesting 
woman and my dreary existence was cheered up by 
her company. As Edgar neglected me a good deal 
I spent most of my time with her. She had a 
marvellous figure and danced with not much more 
on than a tiger skin before the War, and even then 



this was considered most shocking, and when she 
appeared at the Palace Theatre there was a terrible 

Neither of us had any money or, at least, very 
little and we ate often at a little restaurant in Soho 
where we got credit. We had often with us officers 
of all nationalities. Italians in blue cloaks, French 
men, Guardsmen, and so we did not always have to 
" Chalk it up." I painted a portrait of Constance. 
She had a black turban on and a red robe, rather 
like a burnous that the Arabs wear. It was a good 
painting and was bought by Sir Michael Sadler. 
I sent it to the National Portrait Society and it was 
accepted. On the day of the private view, Con 
stance and I went. The place was full of all kinds 
of grand people. They all flocked to my portrait, 
expecting to see an almost nude woman. They 
were bitterly disappointed, and Constance and I 

There were parties nearly every night, as all the 
time officers were returning on leave for a few days. 
This, I think, was the beginning of" gate crashing." 
Someone would arrive and say, " Let's have a party 
to-night, collect your friends and tell them to bring 
anyone they can," and, of course, they did. One 
week we went to five all-night parties and did not 
go to bed at all. The first one was in Chelsea, 
given by an artist who wore a Russian shirt and 
played the accordion, Constance and I went and 
brought two Italian officers with us who were much 
admired in their blue cloaks. The party was such 
a success that Constance decided to give one the 



following night. That was a terrific affair. Some 
of our friends had gone to the Ritz and the Berkeley 
to see if they could find any more people to bring, 
and they came back with a glorious creature in a 
blue and gold uniform, covered in medals. They 
said, " look what we have found. 35 He was a 
French Count. He had a very small motor, which he 
called Le Lapin, and which he drove at terrific speed. 

The third night Augustus John gave a party to 
celebrate his going to France. He was a major in 
the Canadian Army and was commissioned by them 
to paint their part in the War. The party lasted all 
night and in the morning we hung out of all the 
windows and waved him " Good-bye/ 3 He looked 
splendid in his uniform. 

A beautiful woman, who was the wife of a Guards 
man, gave the parties on the two following nights. 
Billie Carlton was there and all kinds of actresses 
and Guardsmen and foreign officers in uniform. 
Edgar came too. He made a scene because some 
one put his arm round me as I was walking up 
stairs to the ball room. I burst into tears and 
everyone took my part and I told him to go home. 
I stayed the night there with Carrington, the girl 
with the red and blue shoe, and another girl. 

One morning two plain-clothes detectives came. 
They were drunk and smelt of whisky. They wanted 
to know why Edgar had not registered himself. I 
said that I had frequently told him to do so. They 
said that he had better hurry up as there would be 
trouble. They were very unpleasant and familiar 
and made me feel quite ill. Edgar still refused to do 



anything. He used to stay with his friends in 
Chelsea for nights at a time. I never went to their 
house except once to a party. One day the police 
came there and arrested him in the kitchen for 
being an unregistered alien. My reputation amongst 
these friends of his was that I was a wicked woman 
who was ruining his bright young life and cramp 
ing his brilliant career. He did not come home 
that night. I did not worry as he never told me 
when he was returning. 

Early in the morning the police came and told 
me that he was in a Police Court at Marylebone. 
I went to see him and the trial came on later. I 
did not go to it but his friends did. Later that 
morning when I was working at the Omega two 
young women came there, and with tears in their 
eyes told me that he had got three months' hard 
labour for not registering* I said " Oh! " and felt a 
sense of freedom at last. This sentence was passed 
under the Aliens' Act, which was enforced during 
the War. 

I went to my attic and wondered how Edgar was 
feeling, I went to see him once; that was the only 
time I could. I think he rather enjoyed prison 
life. He had books to read and as he was of a 
ruminative disposition he was quite happy. 

I was now able to go out and see my old friends* 
I sold drawings and paintings and was able to work 
in peace and began to be very bored with the attics 
in Camden Town, I made friends with a charming 
girl, Marie Beerbohm, She had been a friend of 
Edgar's and for that reason I hardly knew her. 


We became great friends and I had a very good 

Towards the end of Edgar's three months I 
wondered what would happen as I was very happy 
by myself and was very much disinclined to have 
him back. I knew I would have to. I asked the 
police and they said that he would not be allowed 
to stay in England but would be sent to France in 
the Belgian Army. I went to fetch him from the 
prison and, accompanied by detectives, took him to 
a camp, where he remained till he was taken to 
France, He seemed pleased to see me and sorry 
to go. I felt sentimental about the past and we 
both wept as we said good-bye at Waterloo. I have 
never seen him since. He wrote to me from France, 
and the last letter I had was just after the Armistice, 
when he asked me to send him five pounds, saying 
that he loved me as much as ever. I did not reply. 
Having made a little money and still having work 
at the Omega I decided to look for a studio in the 
neighbourhood of Fitzroy Square. I found one on 
a top floor in Fitzroy Street. It was quite large 
and had a bedroom and kitchen. I believe that 
at one time Augustus John had lived there, and later 
on Percy Wyndharn Lewis. Walter Sickert lived 
opposite, that is to say he had a studio there, but he 
actually lived in Camden Town. I was happier 
there than I had been for three years. I heard that 
Sophie Gaudier Brzeska was living in Fulham and 
went to see her. She showed me a photograph of 
Henri at the Front. She was taking a cottage in 
Gloucestershire and asked me to stay with her. 



We had a long correspondence, half In English and 
half in French. I went and stayed for a fortnight. 
She was certainly very eccentric. She agreed to 
pay for the food if I would provide the drinks port 
and sherry she liked. She had a horror of the moon, 
and if we walked out in the evenings we had to 
walk either sideways or with our backs to it, as it 
might cast an evil influence upon us. She objected 
to the way I spoke and said one should speak like 
the working classes and not be snobbish. We had 
long arguments about this. In the evenings we 
drank our port and sherry and I did drawings of her. 
I slept in a top attic. There was no furniture except 
a rather short sofa in which my feet stuck out over 
the end, and one chair. Leading up to the room was 
a staircase. There was no door either to the room 
or at the bottom of the staircase, so at night she 
would stand at the bottom of the stairs and shout 
her views on philosophy and art and tell me to avoid 
looking in the direction of the moon, which came in 
through the window as there were no blinds. What 
with the moon and the owls hooting outside and 
Sophie's raucous voice holding forth on philosophy 
I felt sometimes rather unnerved. One morning, 
at about three a.m., Sophia screamed up the stair 
case, " If you had the chance would you have gone 
off with Henri? " And I screamed back, " Yes! " 
After a moment's hesitation, during which I felt 
rather frightened; she went back to bed. She 
talked extremely well She suffered a good deal from 
ill-health and was rather nervous. She wore very 
old-fashioned clothes that she had had since about 



1905, and a small hat. She always reminded me of 
Cezanne's portraits of his wife. One day she pro 
duced a nightdress, also very old-fashioned, it was 
very elaborate and had real lace on it. She said, 
" Would you like this, it might help you to attract 
men? " I said, " No, thank you, I can do that quite 
well without! " Sophia made pounds and pounds 
of jam, she had a mania for it. We picked black 
berries and bought apples and when she rested in 
the afternoon I had to sit downstairs and see that it 
did not burn. Sophia was reading Casanova at that 
time, and from upstairs would make comments on 
his disreputable life, shouting down the staircase at 
me. I only intended to stay there a week, but as 
there were air-raids every day in London I thought 
I would stay on. Sophia had obtained from a park- 
keeper the permission to use an upstairs' room in the 
porter's lodge, belonging to a large estate. This she 
rested in at the end of her walks. It was very dirty 
and Sophia would lie on the floor and eat nuts and 
throw the shells all over the floor. She came there 
to contemplate, and I was only allowed in on the 
condition that I would not speak. The air-raids 
stopped a week later and I left. I had been invited 
by Roger Fry to stay at his country house in Guild- 
ford. I arrived there, rather shaken, after the 
weeks of Sophia. Roger said I was quite mad to 
stay with lunatics. Several members of the Strachey 
family were staying there. In the evening Lady 
Strachey would read us restoration plays and we 
would play games. Everyone would choose a book 
from the library and hide the cover. They read 



a passage from their books and the others had to 
guess who had written it. Someone read three 
lines and no one could guess who had written it. I 
had a sudden inspiration and said " Oscar Wilde/ 5 
and, much to my astonishment, it proved to be 
right. It was from the pamphlet on Socialism; I 
had read it years before. That was naturally the 
only quotation. that I ever did guess. Roger Fry one 
evening quoted a passage that no one could guess 
and it turned out to be from Baedeker, It was a 
wonderful week-end and I did not talk at all as 
everyone else talked so brilliantly. There was only 
one trouble, that a horrible bird arrived outside the 
library, sat on a small tree, and whistled three notes. 
This it did without ceasing. We went into the gar 
den and collected pebbles with which we pelted it. 
This drove it away for a few minutes and then it 
came back again. When I left on Monday morning 
Roger was buying an air-rifle. I went back to 
Fitzroy Street and started work seriously. 

I painted some artificial flowers in a white vase 
which Sickert bought. He still lived opposite and 
asked me to breakfast. He said, cc You had better 
come every morning at nine, as I get up at six in 
Camden Town, swim for an hour, think for a bit, 
and have breakfast." At nine I crossed the road 
and had a large cup of coffee, two eggs, marmalade, 
and a large cigar. Breakfast lasted until about ten- 
thirty and then I was sent home to work. Some 
times I sat to him for a short time. Sickert was the 
kindest and one of the most intelligent and charming 
men I have ever met. He always seemed to know 



what one wanted to do next, and that is rare in any 
human being. He still had his Saturday afternoons. 
The studio was large and badly lighted after the 
daylight had gone, and he loved shocking the 
guests, who consisted of all kinds of people, from 
the very grand to the humble, but serious, art 
student. He had a life-sized lay figure and an iron 
bedstead in one corner, with a pink counterpane; 
he said it always reminded him of the " Camden 
Town Murder." One day he placed the lay figure 
on the bed in a rather compromising position, sat 
next it with his arm round its neck, and waited for 
the guests. They all looked rather startled when 
they saw this unusual group. I took Beverley 
Nichols there one day. He was seventeen and in the 
London Scottish. He was very good-looking and 
charming and played the piano marvellously; he 
was a great success at the Saturday afternoons. 
Later on I think I quarrelled with him. I forget 
why. I have always regretted it as I admired his 
work very much. 

My friend, Marie Beerbohm, came often to Fitz- 
roy Street. We all went in the evenings to the 
Eiffel Tower Restaurant and ate and drank after 
wards. One morning Marie came to see me. She 
said, " An awful thing has happened; I was bring 
ing with me half a bottle of champagne to cheer us 
up. I met Walter Sickert in the street. He saw it 
and said, c Disgraceful that young girls like you 
should drink in the morning/ and he took it away 
from me." The next morning I saw it in the wine- 
bin, when I was having breakfast with him. It 



remained there for about six months. One day I was 
painting W. H. Davies, the poet. He said, " I don't 
feel very well to-day, I had lunch with Sickert and 
we had a bottle of champagne. He cooked the 
lunch and afterwards said, ' Now what about 
another half-bottle. 3 " I then realized what had 
happened and sure enough the next morning, when 
I went to his studio, it had gone! 

Nancy Cunard, who was often at the Eiffel 
Tower, started a magazine of poetry called Wheels. 
Three young poets called Sitwell, wrote for it, and 
there was a great deal of discussion as to their merits. 
I met them one day with Ethelbert White. I 
thought them most intelligent and charming, and it 
was at their house that I met W. H. Davies. I was 
told that he was very shy and difficult to talk to. 
I had a golden evening-dress on, with a wreath of 
autumn leaves round my head, and looked rather 
like a dissipated Bacchante after a little champagne. 
Davies was sitting on the floor and I sat down beside 
him. I talked of the relative values of beer and 
public-houses, and we got on admirably. 

One evening Robert Ross was there, and St. John 
Hutchinson, and they decided to act " Salome/' I 
had to play Salome whilst Robbie Ross acted Herod. 
There were a lot of people present and I was 
frightened to death, so much so, that when I had to 
speak to him I made a dash for the door and hid in 
the bathroom. The audience actually thought that 
this was part of the play and I managed to get away 
with it. Davies lived in two rooms in Great Russell 
Street. They were filled with mice. He set a trap 




for them, but was so sad when he found one dead 
that he made no further attempt to kill them but 
fed them instead. He said he always regretted the 
days when he was a tramp as, in New York, there 
were three or four of them who worked together 
every day, and in the morning they went out one by 
one. No one could come home until he had col 
lected four dollars. He said that sometimes they 
would all be back by one o'clock. I asked what they 
did when they got home and he said/' We smoked 
cigars and drank, and went to a music-hall." 
Augustus John did a very fine painting of him. 
Mine was a good likeness but not a very good paint 
ing. John and I both concentrated on his eye 
lashes. This amused me when I saw John's painting, 
which I had not seen before I started mine. One 
evening, Roger Fry asked me to come to his studio 
to have some coffee. I went and found there 
Robert Ross and Walter Sickert. We drank wine, 
and I think this was one of the most amusing even 
ings I have ever had. Sickert did his famous turn of 
reciting "Hamlet," imitating the voices of each char 
acter, Hamlet, the King, the Queen, etc. Robbie 
Ross told stories of Mr. Gladstone and Queen 
Victoria; I can only remember one. I think now 
how stupid I was not to have written down an 
account of that evening, but I was then too modest 
and self-conscious to do such a thing. The story I 
remember was of the funeral of Qjieen Victoria at 
Frogmorewith Princess Louise and Princess Victoria. 
With. Constance Stuart Richardson I had met the 
" Kim," the Duke of Manchester. He said that he 



was giving a party at his house and as he only, as a 
rule, had theatrical people, he would like to invite 
for a change some painters; would I bring Walter 
Sickert and Augustus John? This seemed an almost 
impossible feat, but I promised to do my best. I 
found Augustus and he said that he would consider 
the matter. Sickert I asked at breakfast the next 
morning, and he was delighted as he had known 
Kim's father very well. The Sitwells asked me to 
dinner on the night of the party and Sickert and his 
wife were there. We had arranged to collect John 
at his house and take him with us. We arrived 
rather late and found a large motor-car outside. 
John was standing on the doorstep. We all three 
got in and went to the party. All kinds of stage 
stars were there who were famous at that time. 
The men were mostly in uniform. Melville Gideon 
played and sang. Luvaun, the Maori, was there 
with his Hawaiian guitar. Melville Gideon sang 
his famous song about the " Pussy Gat " and we 
drank champagne. I had my golden dress on with 
the wreath of autumn leaves, which got nearer and 
nearer my left ear as the evening wore on. Sickert 
walked home with me and left me on my doorstep 
in the early hours of the morning- 
One day I got Spanish J flu*, Everyone was dying* 
I went to bed in my studio. Sickert brought me 
milk in the morning and Adrian Allinson, the 
painter, cooked me onions in the afternoon. At other 
times I was quite alone, . . . I stayed in bed about 
a week without the assistance of a doctor and then 



Mrs. Sicker t was kind enough to ask me to stay 
at their house in Gamden Town. When I got there 
I stayed in bed two or three days and then got up. 
She was a charming and wonderful woman and did 
beautiful embroidery. Every day I watched her and 
talked about myself, which seemed to amuse her. 
At the end often days I felt very strong indeed and 
returned to Fitzroy Street* 

Living near me was a young Belgian who had 
been a soldier and suffered from time to time from 
shell-shock. He was very poor and I asked him to 
sit for me. This I enjoyed, as he sat very well, and I 
talked French to him, which reminded me of Paris. 
He had long hair and an interesting face. He 
painted also in a rather flamboyant Belgian style. 
I thought that the French were a much superior 
race to the Belgians, whose mentality seemed dreary 
and bourgeois in comparison. I painted a life-size 
portrait of him, which Sickert bought, and one 
seated at a table with all my books behind him on 
a bookshelf, which was good, and was bought by 
Walter Taylor. I saw it not long ago. I was pleased 
with it. Going to see a painting one did years ago 
is much the same as going to see an old friend whom 
you have not seen for a long time. One feels nervous 
and frightened that they may have become old 
and haggard and ugly and falling to bits. I had a 
pleasant surprise when I saw rny painting. 

The air-raids had not stopped but the barrage 
was doing its work and often chased them away 
before they got to London. During air-raid nights, 
if I had friends with me, we went down to the cellar. 



Roger Fry came and joined us if he was alone, in 
fact everyone in the street generally visited each 
other on these occasions. We eventually got bored 
with sitting in the cellar and laid in a stock of wine 
for air-raid nights, and sat on the roof instead and 
watched the bombs dropping. The nearest escape 
from death, with the exception of the Clifford's Inn 
experience that I had, was when I was in a studio 
near the Eiffel Tower Restaurant with three young 
men, one of whom was half German and the other 
two naturalized Germans. They were playing in 
turn German music when we heard the whistles 
blowing for the alarm. They did not stop playing 
as we heard the bombs drop- Each one that dropped 
got nearer and nearer. Finally we heard a terrific 
whizzing noise, that sounded as if it were just over 
the roof, and then a crash quite near. The Germans 
had started throwing bombs the other side of 
Hampstead and had dropped one at almost regular 
intervals till they got to the West End. The last 
one dropped near Portland Street, on a hostel that 
the girls from some large shop lived in, but they had 
all gone away for a holiday. If it had dropped in a 
straight line as the others did, it would have been 
very near us. On another occasion I was at the 
Eiffel Tower with three young men. Mark Gertler 
and Geoffrey Nelson were two of them, and we were 
sitting near the large windows looking on to the 
street. We were amusing ourselves by playing 
" consequences." We heard the whistles blowing 
and then a loud crash. The bomb dropped out 
side Bourne and Hollingsworth's, which was not 



far away, so we had some more drinks and went 

My painting still showed a good deal of French 
influence. At the Omega Workshops we thought 
and spoke only of modern French Art, Derain, 
Picasso, Matisse and others. Under the gloomy in 
fluence of London my colour, which had cheered up 
in France considerably, became duller and duller. 
J. M. Synge said that he had to live years in Paris 
before he could appreciate Ireland. I have found 
out that he was quite right. It was only much later, 
after ten years in France, that I could see any colour 
in London at all. Now I can see, but perhaps not 
yet express, colour everywhere, not so brilliant per 
haps, but more subtle. My painting became more 
and more mechanical. Sickert said that I should 
not paint from life. " Make sketches and square 
them up, as the old Masters did." I tried this but 
failed. Whether this was from laziness or incom 
petence I do not know, anyway I could not paint 
at all like that. 

I had already acquired quite a good library of 
rather an odd sort. Edgar and I visited the Charing 
Cross Road nearly every day. He found French 
books, including a small book of Jules Laforgue's 
poems. It was the first volume of poems that he ever 
published and Edgar paid sixpence for it. I sent his 
books to France to him later on and regret that I 
did not keep this one. 

I met one day, Mrs. Ruby Lindsay, whom I had 
first seen before the War at a sketch class in Chelsea, 
where Henri and I went sometimes in the evenings 



to draw. She was the most beautiful person and 
always wore a chain round her neck to which was 
attached a little ball, covered in diamonds. I 
wondered what it was and stared at her and it in 
admiration when the model rested. I met her at 
one of Walter Sickert's Saturday afternoons. She 
was wearing it. I said, cc Do you remember the 
sketch class in Chelsea? " And she did quite well. 
I said, " Do let me look at that wonderful sparkling 
ball that you have?" and when I did I saw it was a 
watch. She asked me to her house in Manchester 
Square, where she sometimes had models. One 
afternoon I went and she had a ballet girl posing in 
a pink ballet skirt. She had been a pupil of Sickert's 
and was doing a painting that had a great deal of 
talent. I sat in a corner and drew. I was very 
badly dressed and hid my shoes under the chair. 
Presently Lord Ribblesdale came in, and then Lady 
Curzon. They were charming and I hid my feet 
further under the chair, but they neither seemed to 
notice or to mind. We continued to draw and they 
talked about Art. 

Osbert Sitwell and his brother were in the Grena 
dier Guards and looked imposing in their grey 
coats. I asked Osbert if he would sit for me. He 
came and sat in his uniform, but it was not a success. 
I painted another one of him in a small " John 
Bull " top-hat, a head and shoulders, and that was 
much better. He bought it, and I believe it is 
amongst their family portraits. I don't know what 
the family portraits think of it. I also painted 
Edith in a rainbow jacket that was exhibited at the 



w rfRick&rJSicktrt R.A. 


National Portrait Society's Exhibition at the Gros- 
venor Gallery. The Taller criticized it and said, 
". . . Finally was staggered by Nina Hamnett\ of 
* Poetess Edith Sitwell ' and ' Poet Captain Osbert 
Sitwell'; sister in the funniest Futurist frock, with 
what someone called c kaleidoscopic breasts/ and 
brother looking nice, in spite of all, in the pale, 
dreamy blue-grey and recherche high collar and 
waist of a Guard's overcoat. 5 ' This I did not regard 
as very serious Art criticism. The Times said, " c Miss 
Edith Sitwell 3 is a serious work in the midst of much 
frivolity "; this was by Glutton Brock. People 
spoke of the Sitwells in the same way as they did in 
1911 of the Post Impressionists. In 1911 a com 
mittee of doctors, who were experts in lunacy, were 
called, and the doctors assured everyone that they 
were all mad and within six months would be com 
pletely forgotten, but the Sitwells persisted in the 
same way as the Post Impressionists did and every 
one was much disturbed. Every time the public 
thought that they had vanished from sight they 
cropped up again, new poems, new books, they 
were like corks floating; every time you tried to 
push them down they came up and floated on the 
surface. I was not considered very important, only 
rather a nuisance and so nobody minded much what 
I did. I was already beginning to think about 
France. I could not see any way of getting back 
there. I thought of Modigliani and the Rotonde 
and Wassilieff. I had occasional postcards, hearing 
that they were doing quite well. 
A Polish poet had decided to become an art 



dealer. Modigliani had come back from Nice and 
was very poor. They all said,, " You must take up 
Modigliani and give him a contract.' 3 In Paris the 
dealers buy pictures by the inch; so much for so 
many inches, and so much money a month for so 
many metres of canvas. The dealer said, " He is 
no good, he is a blagueur." Finally, the art dealer 
was so pestered, that he had to give in and gave 
Modigliani so much a month. Modigliani was de 
lighted and drank and worked more. The artists 
at the end of the War, in Paris, and shortly after 
wards, did very well as all the army officers had 
money, and many liked pictures and bought them. 
They also gave incredible parties, much to the 
annoyance of the concierges, who never ceased to com 
plain, but without any success. I began to think 
seriously of leaving for Paris. I did not know what 
to do about a passport. I was still rather frightened 
of the police and decided to wait. I saw Marie 
Beerbohm nearly every day. She used to go some 
times and stay in Oxford. One day she asked me to 
go too. I was delighted. We stayed at the Ran 
dolph. At that time there were many amusing 
people at the University; T. W. Earp, Aldous 
Huxley, and Roy Campbell, who was attending 
lectures, but was not actually an undergraduate. 
We sat on the lawn at Balliol under the mulberry 
tree with Aldous Huxley, who had grey flannel 
trousers, a corduroy coat, and a red tie. He was 
very tall and thin and snake-like. Marie was also 
very tall and thin and elegant. I sat and listened 
to them talk. J. B. S. Haldane was also at Oxford. 



Everyone met at Tommy Earp's rooms, and from 
there we went back to the Randolph and sat down 
stairs and talked and drank. Roy Campbell was 
about seventeen and very beautiful indeed. He had 
the most wonderful grey eyes with long black eye 
lashes. He spoke with an odd gruff voice and a 
funny accent. He sang Kaffir songs. He gave me a 
nice copy of the poems of Arthur Rimbaud; he 
presented them to me at the Randolph, rather in the 
manner of a headmaster presenting a prize to the 
head of the class. He had just worked his way from 
South Africa in a tramp steamer. Tommy Earp was 
the President of the Union. He had wonderful hair, 
which sometimes he allowed us to stroke. It grew 
straight up like grass and felt like a doormat. We 
dined at the George, the Mitre, and the Golden 
Cross, and I was as nearly in Paradise as it was 
possible to be. Tommy said extraordinary things. 
One day someone said something about bunions, 
and somebody else said, " What are bunions? " I 
said, " Those things that grow on old ladies' toes. 5 ' 
After a bit Tommy said, " Bunions must rather 
impede the Pilgrim's Progress! " 

After two days we had to return to London as I 
and everyone else had to work. Occasionally, when 
I had time, I thought of love and wondered if 
ever I would fall in love again. There seemed 
so much to do and so many amusing people about, 
one had no time to concentrate on such a serious 

We still went to the Cafe Royal in the evenings 
and then after to the Eiffel Tower. Horace Cole 



was nearly always at the caf<. He had given up 
ragging the Recruiting Offices. He was often with 
Lilian Shelley, the girl who sang at the Gave of the 
Golden Calf. She was the craziest and most 
generous creature in the world. If she had a necklace 
or a bracelet on and anyone said that they liked it, 
she would say, " Have it! " 

One day a tall young man appeared at my studio. 
He said he was an art dealer and that he had bought 
some of Augustus John's drawings. He bought 
several of my paintings, for which he gave me a 
small sum of money. This I did not mind, as 
Sickert had always told me to sell things cheap 
because, like that, one sold more. I asked him if he 
knew Sickert and he did not, so the next day I took 
him over to see him. The following day Sickert 
asked him to lunch. I was not there. At that time 
Sickert was by no means rich. Round his studio, 
high upon the walls, was a shelf. On it were a quan 
tity of canvases, mostly small ones, with their faces 
to the wall. During luncheon the art dealer looked 
round the shelves and said, " I make you a sporting 
offer for all the canvases on the shelf fifty pounds! " 
And Sickert said, " Done." He did not know him 
self what was on them. When he took them down he 
found that on each canvas was a very very good paint 
ing. There were about fifty. The art dealer gave a 
scream of delight, and on the strength of it, took a 
gallery, and had an exhibition which was an enor 
mous success, and everyone was delighted. One 
day Sickert told me that he and his wife had taken 
a house at Bath for the summer* He asked me to 

1 08 


come to Bath and stay there, not with them, as the 
house was very small, but for me to take a room in 
the town. I said that I had no money. Mrs. 
Sickert went first and Sickert remained in London to 
arrange some business. He took me out to lunch and 
to dinner. Sometimes we would walk up to Gamden 
Town and round about Euston. We walked one 
evening to see a house that had been a school, kept 
by an old lady, and he had been to school there 
when he was six years' old. One morning when I 
arrived at the studio, he said, " I can't bother to 
cook the eggs this morning, we must have breakfast 
at the Euston Hotel/ 5 so we arrived there about 
nine o'clock. The breakfast was very good. I 
thought it rather a depressing place, but Sickert 
adored those kind of places. After a few days he 
went to Bath. He wrote to me asking me to come 
there and said that he had found a beautiful room 
for me, overlooking the whole town. I would have 
liked to have gone very much, but I remembered 
how dreadfully ill I always felt when I was at 
school. I wrote and told him that, but he answered 
by a letter containing fifteen pounds, and saying 
that he wanted to buy a portrait of a poet that I had 
done. There was nothing else to do but to go. 
Sickert met me at the station and took me to my 
room. It was a most enchanting place, in a row of 
workmen's cottages, half-way up a hill. The front 
door was higher than the back door, as the hill 
was quite steep. The landlady was the widow of a 
policeman. She wore a striped blue-and-white 
blouse with a belt, a large cameo brooch, and her 



hair in a bun on the top of her head. I at once asked 
her to sit for me and did a life-sized painting of her 
with family photographs in suitable frames on the 
table and a telescope. I forget why I put in the 
telescope, I think it was a nice colour. Anyway 
Roger Fry bought it and it was exhibited at the 
London Group. I felt that I was behaving rather 
badly, as Sickert had told me not to paint from the 
model, but to do drawings and square them up. 
He never came to my place so he did not know what 
I was doing. I must say I was horribly bored and 
I felt dreadfully ill and almost suicidal because of 
the climate. I knew nobody at all, I went to 
Sickert's rooms at five-thirty every day. He had 
two rooms where he worked and we would go out 
and I would watch him paint sketches of the river 
and Pulteney Bridge. This was very interesting and 
the paintings were really beautiful that he did from 
his sketches. Afterwards I went back to my lodgings, 
had some supper, and went to bed. I never have 
been so bored in all my life. About twice a week I 
dined with Sickert and his wife at their house; that 
was very pleasant. On Sunday, Sickert did not go to 
his painting rooms, and I had to spend the week 
end entirely alone. I thought sometimes that death 
would be preferable; no one to talk to and feeling 
ill and depressed. I stayed at Bath for five weeks. 
One day I walked up Lansdowne and peered through 
the gates of the Royal School for Officers' Daughters 
of the Army. I saw two girls sitting on the grass 
and longed to talk to them. I walked up to the 
top of the hill and into a cemetery. The cemetery 



had a strange tower and sort of folly, built by some 
old gentleman under the influence of a strange 
emotion. I sat on a tombstone and \vished I were 
inside. Outside my window I could see a large, 
rather modern building. It was the C. B. Corset 
Manufactory, and had some trees beside it. 1 
painted a picture of it from my room and sold it a 
few days later to the art dealer who had bought 
Walter Sickert's paintings from the shelf. I left 
Bath and returned to London. 

Sickert was the Professor of Art at the Westminster 
Technical Institute. One day he decided to retire, 
and asked me if I would teach the evening-class 
there. He and Augustus John recommended me to 
the committee and I got the job. The class con 
sisted of five students when I arrived. They were as 
much frightened of me as I was of them. I wore a 
large grey hat pulled over my eyes which I never 
took off. I had to engage the models. A small girl 
and her brother came and sat for me and also a 
large and very fat woman. After several weeks I 
had thirty students, including five tough Australian 
soldiers, who were very serious and always kept 
cigarettes behind their ears. I used to ask them to 
tea, two at a time. They were very simple-minded 
and unspoilt. I knew another Australian at that 
time and he used to meet me after the class was 
finished, in Victoria Street, and take me out to a 
meal. I did not introduce him to my students as 
I thought it might create a bad impression of 
frivolity. My Australian wrote plays. He took me 
out to dinner, sometimes to Frascati's and the 



Monico. He never drank anything at all and I 
wondered why. One day I went to see a friend of 
mine whose hobby was collecting liqueurs. He had 
a hundred and fifty different bottles arranged on a 
shelf. I got to his flat about nine-thirty only to find 
my unfortunate Australian completely drunk. I 
asked him where he lived and took him out into the 
Strand to find a taxi. We found a horse cab and I 
took him home to his lodgings in Victoria where I 
put him to bed. This was not so easy as he was in 
uniform and had puttees on. I had never undone 
puttees before and this took some time. I eventually 
put him to bed and went home. I came the next 
morning and got him some whisky. He was one of 
those unfortunate people who, if they have one 
drink, cannot stop. I felt rather responsible about 
hint He knew hardly anyone in London. He got 
driink again the next day and remained so for 
about a week. I told him that he had better come 
and stay at my place and sober up. He did, and 
remained drunk for several more days. I went to a 
friend of mine who had a collection of drugs of all 
kinds. I asked if he could give me anything to stop 
the Australian from drinking. He gave me a small 
tabloid and told me to put it into his tea. I did this 
the following morning and went out thinking that, 
later on in the day, I would come home and prob 
ably find a corpse. I came home in the afternoon 
and found my patient very well indeed. He refused 
to touch a drink of any kind and, shortly after the 
War, I saw him off at Waterloo for Australia* He 
said that he would come back in four years to fetch 



me and to marry me. I believe he did come back 
but I was, unfortunately, in Paris. 


One day I was walking along Tottenham Court 
Road, and as I passed the National Cash Register 
Building, I stopped and read the news about the 
War. " Armistice " was written up in large letters. 
I was not sure what it meant, but I saw further on 
that hostilities would cease at 1 1.30. I thought that 
on such an occasion one must find someone to talk 
to. I went to my bank and got some money out and 
went to Shoolbreds, where I bought two bottles of 
champagne. I found Geoffrey Nelson, the painter, 
and we took a 'bus to Trafalgar Square. We then 
walked down the Strand where, out of every window, 
papers were being thrown. The street looked as if 
there had been a snowstorm. I went to lunch at 
the Eiffel Tower. There I found several people I 
knew, Aldous and Julian Huxley, Carrington, and 
the Sitwells. Before dinner I went to the Cafe 
Royal where everyone was drinking and celebrating. 
A friend of mine asked me to a party at his flat and 
I walked to the AdelphL It was almost impossible 
to find a taxi or a 'bus. As I was walking down 
Whitehall I saw a crowd of people, and at the top 
of an arc-light, on a ladder, was a man who was 
taking the black paint off. We all watched him and 
were quite dazzled when the light shone out again 
with its pre-war glory. Everybody cheered loudly 
and I went on to my party. It was a very fine party 
indeed. Diaghilev was there, Massine, Lydia 
Lopokova, the Sitwells, Henry Mond, who became 
Lord Melchett, and many more people. There was 
a pianola and we danced and I was accompanied 
home by David Garnett 




AT my Art Glass I generally drew with the 
students. I taught three evenings a week and for 
two nights a week I joined the St. Martin's Art 
School and drew from the nude. They had a com 
petition once a year for landscapes done in the 
summer vacation and a Royal Academician came 
and judged them. One evening I was drawing 
and the Professor came to me and told me that 
the R.A. could not turn up and would I judge 
the paintings? This flattered me as I did not 
realize that anybody knew who I was at all. The 
work was not very good, but one picture I liked 
very much; it was of a gipsy encampment and painted 
in the style of the Douanier Rousseau. I gave it the 
first prize. This I knew would cause some distur 
bance. I found that the young man who had painted 
it was the nephew of Frank Brangwyn. I asked him 
how much he wanted for it. He only asked a small 
sum and I bought it from him. The St. Martin's 
School gave dances from time to time. They were 
very good and we brought bottles of whisky in suit 
cases. I have always had a passion for Art Schools, 
I don't know why! One doesn't learn very much 
at them unless one is lucky enough to find an interest 
ing professor like John Swan or George Lambert. 
There is an atmosphere of calm and seriousness that 
I like and find inspiring. One day I decided to move 
from Fitzroy Street; why, I can't imagine. I took 
the top floor of a house in Great James Street, 



Bloomsbury. It was very dark and depressing and 
I regretted very much that I had gone there. 

Towards the end of 1919 the Polish picture-dealer, 
who had given a contract to Modigliani, came to 
London. He had a large room that had been used 
as a dancing-school and had an exhibition of the 
young painters in Montpamasse. The most im 
portant one was Modigliani. There were Soutine 
and Kremegne and Zavado and Ortiz and many 
others. The Modiglianis were not at all expensive 
and the one of the boy, now in the Tate Gallery was, 
I think, forty pounds. I found this exhibition very 
inspiring and exciting and longed for Paris. Modig 
liani had had consumption when he was eighteen 
and what with his hectic life was in a very bad way. 
The art dealer returned to Paris x as news came that 
he was dying in the H6pital de la Charit6, where 
Alfred Jarry and so many other celebrated people 
have died. He died a few days later and telegrams 
were sent to London to put up the prices of his 
pictures. His wife, who was about to have a child, 
went to stay with her family, who were sale bourgeoisie 
and lived near the Panth6on. She slept in a room 
on the fifth floor. She was so despairing and miser 
able that, during the night, she jumped out of the 
window and was killed. Her family, who were re 
ligious, said that they could not have a suicide in 
the house. She was picked up by some workmen 
and brought to the studio in the Rue de la Grande 
Chaumi&re, in which I lived for several years after 
wards. Two friends of Modigliani's sat with her 
body in case mice or rats were about the place; 



they brought some wine and spent the night there. 
On the day that Modigliani died his cat jumped out 
of the studio window and was killed. Modigliani 
was given a fine funeral in P&re Lachaise, and I 
believe an enormous crowd followed the hearse. 
His wife had always said that she would like to be 
buried in the same cemetery as he was. Her 
family would not allow this and she was buried 
in the Cimetiere de Bagneux, where Oscar Wilde 
was originally buried. The friends of Modigliani 
and she went very early in the morning to the funeral 
and when the moment came when the funeral 
guests shake hands with the relations, they stood 
with their hands behind their backs as a protest. 
The art dealer's exhibition had finished in London 
by February. I don't think he sold many. He 
ought to have, as there were some interesting 

The Southern Syncopated Orchestra had arrived 
in London. I went to hear them. I had never 
heard negro spirituals sung before and they sang 
very well indeed. I met Mrs. Reavis, who sang 
beautifully and looked rather like a painting by 
Gauguin. I asked her to sit for me and she came 
one morning. I knew that Epstein admired coloured 
people and I asked him if he would like to come and 
draw too. He came round and did several very beau 
tiful drawings, which he left on the floor and I had 
framed. They were, of course, not signed, and a 
few years ago I sold them. The man I sold them to 
asked me if I thought that Epstein would sign them; 
I said that I could not possibly ask him as he would 



probably be cross to think that I had kept them. 
Apparently Epstein was asked to sign them by the 
man to whom I sold them. He was quite pleased 
to do so and said, " These are drawings that I must 
have done about twenty years ago." I used to go 
two or three times a week, to hear the Negro 
Spirituals and talk to Mrs. Reavis, who was most 
charming and very beautiful. One day she told me 
that a coloured dance was being given, and that the 
President of Liberia and his family would be there. 
There was first of all a conference where speeches 
were made and they talked about the troubles of the 
coloured races. I went with a friend of mine and we 
with one other woman were the only white people 
present. The orchestra were aching to play and 
dance, and were getting rather bored with the 
speeches. It all ended in a great deal of dancing 
and a terrible lot of noise. I was introduced to the 
President of Liberia and his wife and family. They 
were very dark indeed, and the daughter, who was 
about nine or ten, had the funniest hair, there was 
hardly any of it and it was very short and woolly. 
What intrigued me was how she had managed to 
attach a large white bow of ribbon to it. 

I was beginning to be very bored with London 
and thought of returning to Paris as soon as I got 
paid by the Art School; this was once every six 
weeks, so I only had a very little money unless I 
sold some pictures. I made enquiries about getting 
a passport and found that it was quite easy for me. 
I had to have a Belgian one. I waited anxiously for 
the term to finish and decided to go to Paris as soon 



as I could. The Russian ballet was in London still. 
They were at the Coliseum. One evening I was 
walking up Whitehall after my class; the only 
person in sight was a short man in a khaki uniform. 
On his head he had a gold band to which was 
attached a sort of white curtain. He stared at me 
in rather an embarrassed way. I could not imagine 
who or what he was. I turned round and saw that 
he turned up Downing Street. I thought that I 
would go to the gallery of the Coliseum and see the 
ballet. When I got there, to my great surprise, in 
a box was the little man in khaki, surrounded by 
Arab chiefs. The little man was Colonel Lawrence 
of Arabia. The ballet was very good indeed. They 
played the " Good Humoured Ladies/ 5 which was 
more French than Russian, but the decor and 
Massine's choreography were very fine; although 
the dancing was good, very good in some places, 
none of it was up to the standard of the dancers 
before the War in Russia and Covent Garden. 

I had met, a few months previously, a very nice 
man, who had been a prisoner of war in Germany. 
He painted pictures and spoke quite perfect French. 
He took me out quite often and was very kind to me. 
I often wondered why he ever had taken to painting. 
It was not because his painting was bad, it was very 
competent, but he seemed to have missed his voca 
tion so completely. He was the most perfect type 
of soldier I have ever met and was quite obviously 
cut out to be a General instead of a painter. 

The term at the Art School ended. 




TOWARDS the end of March I took the train to 
Newhaven. I got into a third-class carriage with a 
little dark man who looked like a foreigner. We 
were the only people in the train and we did not 
speak till we got to Lewes when he said, " Please, is 
the next station Newhaven? " And I said that it 
was. We talked quite a lot between Lewes and 
Newhaven. I said, " I am going second-class on 
the boat, but perhaps we will meet at Dieppe/' He 
met me and bought me coffee and cigarettes and we 
got into the train. I asked him what he did. He 
was an Italian engineer who had been in the British 
Navy and said that he was on his way to Bombay. 
We were both half-reclining on the seats, one oppo 
site the other. I said, " The women in Bombay 
must be very beautiful, aren't they? " He sat 
straight up on his seat and looking hard at me, said, 
" I don't care about 'em good-looking," at which 
speech I felt highly flattered. When we got to Paris 
we shook each other warmly by the hand and said 
that we hoped we would meet again. 

I took a taxi and drove to the hotel that I stayed 
in when I arrived there in 1914. I looked out of the 
window and saw the lights of the Rotonde. It 
had not changed. I went to the Rotonde and 
asked a strange-looking young man where Zadkine 
and Wassilieff were. I heard that they were both in 
Paris. I went to Wassilieff 's studio and it was just 
the same. Wassilieff asked how my figure looked 



so I took off all my clothes and she said, cc Oui, la 
mSme chose" so I put them on again, seeing that she 
was satisfied that I had not dropped to pieces. 
In a small cot, beside WassiliefPs bed, was a child. 
I asked where it came from. Wassilieff said that 
during the War, one day she was sitting in the 
Rotonde and opposite to her she saw a most glorious 
looking creature. He was very dark and wore the 
uniform of a French officer. He had the Legion of 
Honour and many medals. She called for the 
waiter to bring some paper and did a drawing of 
him. The officer called a waiter and sent a message 
asking if he could buy the drawing. Wassilieffspoke 
to him but refused to sell it; she invited him to her 
studio. He came to see her and Wassilieff found 
that he was an Arab of Persian origin. She said that 
they at once fell in love and that he always ate 
grapes in bed during the night. One day he had to 
return to his regiment. Some months later, Wassi 
lieff, looking at herself in the mirror, noticed that 
she was getting rather stout. She remembered that 
her Mother had grown fat at quite an early age. 
As she got fatter and fatter she decided to visit a 
doctor who informed her that in four months 9 time 
she would, if all went well, produce young. The 
Arab had completely disappeared, but Wassilieff, 
being a very courageous woman, was not unduly 
upset. She gave birth to a small brown son, who 
had a very loud voice indeed, and very nearly drove 
the poor lady mad, She told me of all her troubles 
during the War. In 1914, as I have already ex 
plained, she had a canteen where Modigliani, Edgar, 



myself and all the poor artists and writers dined for 
one franc-fifty, which included a glass of wine and 
one cigarette. Trotsky was in Paris. He had sold 
newspapers in the streets and was quite penniless. 
He ate every evening at the canteen, free of charge, 
as Wassilieff was extremely kind and hospitable, 
especially towards her own countrymen. The 
troubles in Russia took place and Trotsky became a 
great man. Someone said that Wassilieff had been 
Trotsky's mistress. She was immediately arrested 
and taken away from her son, who was only a few 
months old. Ferdinand Leger, and Jeanne his wife, 
took care of him, and poor Wassilieff was nearly 
distracted. There was a great trial and all Paris 
came to the Court to see the mistress of the great 
man. They expected to see a great beauty and 
when Wassilieff appeared they were very much 
astonished to see a very small woman who looked 
like a peasant. Wassilieff rose to her full height, 
which was just under five feet, and made a speech. 
She said that it was perfectly true that Trotsky had 
dined at her canteen every night for many months, 
as he was quite penniless, and she said, " And now 
you imprison me. I, who have given birth to a 
Frenchman who will fight for you. Look at my 
hands, they are scarred with work and I have even 
got a skin disease." She made such an impressive 
speech that she was immediately allowed to go free. 
Later on that evening I found Zadkine, who still 
had the same studio in the Rue Rousselet. He had 
then married the painter, Valentine Prax. She was 
a pretty, fair girl, who had been brought up in 



Morocco and had a great deal of talent. She worked 
in the same building as Zadkine did and, as she 
had to go away to the country asked me if I would 
like to take her studio, which I did. I was so 
pleased to be back in Paris that,, during the day 
time, I walked about by myself, visiting all the 
places I had been to before the War. I went to 
La Ruche and saw the studio that Edgar and I had 
lived in. I wore out a pair of shoes in three weeks. 
The Rotonde closed at 10.30 as the war-time regu 
lations were still enforced, so we went to people's 
studios afterwards, if we did not want to go to bed, 
and brought bottles with us. I found Brancusi, who 
had moved to the Impasse Ronsin, and lived in a 
large workshop opposite the studio, where Madame 
Steinheil had lived and the tragedy had taken place. 
He was pleased to see me and was just the same as 
he had been before the War. He had sculpted a 
bronze bird that was very beautiful. It was highly 
polished and shone in the corner of the studio. The 
only table was made of white plaster. It was 
a solid lump, round, and about four feet in dia 
meter. He asked me to come to dinner with him. 
As he was very fond of cooking he said, cc Moi je 
diteste Us restaurants, je mange chez moi, je visite le 
boucher le matin et fachete les bifsteaks par le mitre" 
When one dined with him one had to eat and drink 
at the same time. He had marvellous burgundy 
and one started with some aperitifs. As the evening 
went on one got into almost a state of coma, as the 
" bifsteaks " were certainly measured by metres, 
and the Pommard was rather potent. I had heard 



that he had done a statue of a princess. I had seen 
one that he did about fourteen years before in 
marble, of a very beautiful woman with her head 
slightly leaning on one side and nude to the waist. 
He had worked and worked on it until it was almost 
completely abstract and resembled the same object 
that Gaudier Brzeska's head of Ezra Pound did. 
He had apparently sent it to the Salon d'Automne. 
It was also made of polished bronze, the same 
material that the bird was made of. It was placed 
in the Salon in the middle of a large room. One 
day the President arrived and sent for the police. 
He explained to them that it was an indecent object. 
The policeman said, " Je ne vois rien d'indfoent; fa a 
Vapparence d'un escargot" Brancusi was sent for and 
the President said, " It is disgraceful to exhibit such 
a thing in the same place as Monsieur Rodin ex 
hibited." Brancusi said, " Mais Monsieur Rodin tfa 
pas pris la place pour perpttuiU" All the same he had 
to remove it. The night I dined with him I asked 
to see the portrait of the Princess. In the corner of 
the studio I saw something wrapped up in a white 
sheet. Brancusi uncovered it and said, " There it 
is! " I did not like it as much as some of his things 
and Brancusi said, " Voild le portrait de la Princesse! " 
And I said, " And a remarkably handsome woman," 
and he covered it up again. 

WassiliefF I saw every day. She was not painting 
much at that time but making the most amusing 
dolls, portraits of people. They were made of kid 
and the eyelashes and eyebrows were sewn in silk. 
She went to a shop where they stuffed birds and 



chose different coloured glass eyes to suit her 
clients. She made two of Evan Morgan in evening 
dress, with a white shirt and every detail of his 
elothes, cuff links, buttons, shoes, all imitated in 
an extraordinarily ingenious way. She also some 
times did naked portraits-poupfes of people who 
rather admired themselves with nothing on. She 
painted the kid to match their skins. Sometimes 
she would use smooth white kid and sometimes 
chamois leather. She did a wonderful head of 
Paul Poiret, the dressmaker, and made his beard 
of orange wool, as he had red hair. One day 
at the Rotonde I saw a young man with long fair 
hair; he was badly dressed. I was with Beatrice 
Hastings at the time. She had been sensible enough 
to stay in Paris during the War. It was a repetition 
of Edgar. She said, " He is a very talented Polish 
artist; would you like to meet him? " I rashly said, 
" Yes. 53 After the Rotonde closed we all went to 
someone's studio in the Rue de la Grande Chau- 
miere. He was then very drunk. I had an awful 
presentiment that at any minute I should fall in love 
with him. He had a guitar with him and sang 
Polish songs. He was so unlike any of the people in 
England and reminded me so much of Paris before 
the War, that I asked him to come to my studio. 
He .brought some of his paintings with him, which 
were mostly of flowers and of a very beautiful colour. 
I was delighted with him and we sang to his guitar 
and drank white wine all the afternoon. He told 
me that he had had a dreadful love tragedy the year 
before, that he had loved a beautiful girl, who was 



also Polish, and that she had died. He showed me 
a photograph of her lying on her death-bed, 
covered in lilies. As the white wine and the songs 
had rather gone to our heads we both burst into 
tears. I found out later on that it was not really 
such a tragic story and that he had behaved very 
badly to her and that the description of his tragic 
feelings and great sorrow was really only put on for 
my benefit. The young men of the Quarter always 
made a point of cultivating English and American 
women, as they were convinced that they had 
money. I was glad to realize later on that they 
were quite frequently disappointed. My money, 
which was not very much, was beginning to give 
out. I had been in Paris for three weeks and had 
decided that I could not possibly live in England 
any more. I had to go back and send in my resigna 
tion to my Art School, which I quite well realized 
was disgusting behaviour. I went back to London, 
sent in my resignation, borrowed five pounds from 
a friend of mine, and returned to Paris and the 
abominable Pole. He met me at the Gare St. 
Lazare, looking quite clean. He said, " Do not 
spend your money on lodgings, come and stay in the 
hotel that I do. It is near the Cimeti&re Mont- 
parnasse, and costs very little." I took a room 
there. I met with him an extremely nice Pole, who 
lived in Modigliani's studio. The first night I 
stayed in a little hotel near the Avenue d'Orl&ins, 
where I was eaten up by bugs. I had met them 
before in Grafton Street, and they certainly could 
bite. The next morning E. suggested that I should 



paint a picture out of the hotel window. The win 
dow overlooked some roofs. As I had already done 
several roof scenes in London, I was interested to 
see some new roofs of a different colour. I found 
that these were much more gay and I sat at home 
most of the day painting. I gave him all the money 
that I had as he would take me out in the evenings to 
a workmen's restaurant, near by, in the Avenue du 
Maine, and we had a good dinner and a small bottle 
of red wine for almost nothing. What he did during 
the day I did not know and never took the trouble 
to enquire. One day I introduced him to a friend 
of mine, whom I had known in London. She was 
very good-looking and well dressed and had some 
money, about eight hundred a year. I saw that she 
liked him (she had a passion for stealing other 
people's men), and that he liked her was obvious. 
She had much more money than I had. I had 
written to some friends of mine in London, and as 
they knew that I was working, and that it was 
cheaper for me to live in Paris, they sent me thirty 

This was in June 1920. I knew only two or 
three people and those not very well. One of 
them was Zborowski the picture-dealer who gave the 
contract to Modigliani. I gave the Pole most of my 
money to look after. One day he said, " I love 
your friend and I am going away with her to 
night. 5 ' He disappeared, leaving me almost penni 
less. This of course, was my own fault for being so 
stupid, but, I thought, thinking of my past experi 
ences, " One has to pay for all one's stupidities, and 



they are very expensive, so perhaps that one day I 
will learn some sense. " I went and wept on Wassi- 
liefFs chest. She, knowing the young man very well, 
rather took it as a joke. I didn't, as, in about two 
days 9 time, I was completely penniless. I went to 
see Zborowski, who was kind enough to lend me 
a hundred francs. I got thinner and thinner and 
wondered what would happen to me. I met a very 
nice Arab and also the other Pole whom I had met 
with my friend. They knew what had happened to 
me and were very kind. Wassilieff allowed me to 
stay in her studio, and I wept for about a week. 
Finally, she got very bored and threw me out, so I 
went back to my dreary and dirty hotel. In Mont- 
parnasse there was a Russian Jew, whom I had met 
before the War. He had come to Paris quite 
penniless, with the idea of studying painting, but 
was very poor, and, having a good figure, he posed 
in the Academies. He was a terrific blagueur, and 
really very stupid and simple-minded. He also 
thought that my friend, who had gone off with 
E., was rich and told me that they had gone to 
Fontainebleau he had been to see them; he said 
that they were going to get married and that he had 
engaged himself as their chauffeur. The art dealer 
was delighted and came and told me that E. 
was marrying a rich girl and that she would buy 
many pictures. This girl, whose name I can't 
mention, I knew very well, and knew that she, 
being British, adored La chasse. The moment that 
she had stolen anyone's man away she got tired 
of him. As soon as E. stepped into the train 



for Fontainebleau, she couldn't bear him any 
more. Bored and fed up as I was, I had already 
realized this would happen and waited for the time 
that he would return. One day an Englishman 
whom I had known before arrived in Paris. I told 
him this idiotic story of my stupidity; and, having 
some money, he gave me a few hundred francs. I 
was beginning to work again and take a new interest 
in life. I was still in the same abominable and dirty 
hotel. One day E. returned from Fontainebleau 
and explained that my friend had to return to 
London and after three months she would come 
back to Paris and they would get married. During 
the three months he would live with me platonically! 
I said, " Gome out to lunch with me and we will 
discuss the matter." He was completely penniless 
and he had lunch at my expense in a restaurant near 
the Avenue d'Orleans, near the church where the 
funeral had taken place of his dead Jiancfo. I told 
him in French what I thought of him. I had a fine 
vocabulary, which I had learnt from Modigliani, 
and I should think that if anyone who had not 
been such a complete monster had been spoken 
to in the way that I did to him, I should have 
been strangled. After lunch I paid the bill and gave 
him ten francs. He didn't believe that I really 
meant what I said and he would pursue me from 
cafe to cafe. I have never spoken to him again, and 
although he still sends me his love, I never will. Of 
course my friend never came back to marry him, 
and I am glad to say that he became the laughing 
stock of Montparnasse. I did not speak to my friend 



for eighteen months after this affair, but we ended 
by being as good friends as ever and were able to 
laugh at the whole incident. This annoyed E. as 
he used to see us sitting together and talking and 
laughing at the Cafe du Dome and the Rotonde. 
The other Pole who lived in Modigliani's studio and 
the Arab were extremely kind to me, and used to 
sit with me in the evenings. I knew that they 
thought I had been very stupid about the affair 
with E. 3 but they were kind and tactful enough never 
to mention it at all. 

The Russian Ballet was in Paris at the time, and 
one evening I was taken out to dinner and after 
wards to a box at the Opera, where they were per 
forming. I was taken by a painter called Charles 
Winzer, the man who, before the War, had spent 
the evenings in the Rotonde with Frederick Etchells 
and myself, inventing silly poems. He was a great 
friend of the Princesse Eugenie Murat's and I was 
introduced to her. We made friends and she asked 
him to bring me to her house. I had never been 
to the Opera House before and was much impressed 
at the chic of the French women. They were very 
much made up, but the only grand and aristocratic 
woman that I could see was sitting in a box opposite 
to us with some friends, and I asked who she could 
be. My friend, Winzer, who knew nearly everyone 
there, told me that it was Lady Juliet Duff. I met 
her some years afterwards at the Princess Murat's. 
During the intervals we went to the promenade and 
talked to Diaghilev and the Princess. 
In London I had met Andre Gide. One day he 



came up to the Cafe Parnasse, which has now be 
come part of the Rotonde. This was at that time 
miich the most amusing cafe in Montparnasse. He 
was delighted to see me and had with him a young 
man called Marc Allegri, who, a year or two ago, 
went to the Congo with Gide and made a wonderful 
film of the natives there. Several English officers 
who had been at the Peace Conference were still in 
Paris and used to come to the Parnasse in the even 
ings. They knew many songs and we found an 
American who sang too, and we would spend the 
evenings singing. Andre Gide would come up and 
listen. He spoke English almost perfectly and I 
think enjoyed our singing, although it got very loud 
and noisy as the evening wore on. I had left the 
Hotel Victor and was living in a hotel opposite the 
Gare Montparnasse. Marc Allegri said that he 
would like to see some of my work, some of which 
I had at my hotel. He had seen it at Cambridge 
and had come with Gide to my studio in Fitzroy 
Street on one occasion. I arranged to meet him 
on the terrasse of the Cafe Parnasse and waited for 
some time. Presently I saw Gide by himself walking 
by. He waved to me and carne and sat beside me. 
I said, " Where is Marc? " He said that he did not 
know, but as he had nothing to do for an hour or 
two, could he come himself and see my pictures. 
We went back to my room and he liked some of my 
drawings very much. Seeing my guitar hanging on 
the wall he asked me to sing some English songs, 
and I spent the whole afternoon singing to him. 
He was a charming man, elderly, very good-looking 



and very amusing. I was very pleased that a man 
whose works I admired so much should spend the 
afternoon listening to my silly songs and enjoy 

I found a girl whom I had known in London, in 
fact she had been at Brangwyns with me and had 
married a very nice man who was in some govern 
ment service in Paris. I had known him in London 
slightly. She did coloured dry points of people and 
made a lot of money. She had to go to England 
for a few days to see her children who were at 
school. She said, " Take my husband out and keep 
him from being bored/ 3 This, I think, was the time 
of Mardi Gras, and there were several holidays. 
We spent Sunday at the Rotonde drinking Vouvray 
with some friends, and he asked me to meet him 
there again on Monday and we would go to Font- 
ainebleau, have lunch there, and then walk to 
Moret, where there was a little inn where Arnold 
Bennett had lived for some years. We decided that 
we would drink to his health when we got there and 
have dinner. I had never been to Fontainebleau 
before and we went to a very nice restaurant and 
had lunch and some white wine and started out to 
walk through the forest. It was a very hot day and 
there was nothing but four or five miles of forest. 
We rested by the road-side from time to time and 
about six o'clock we got to the inn, very hot and 
thirsty. It was about half a mile from Moret itself 
and a most charming looking little place. The caf6 
had a garden in front of it with some tables and we 
sat down and ordered bottles of beer. We were so 





(of. p. 81) 


thirsty that we drank eight or nine bottles which, 
one by one, as we finished them we placed under the 
table. We ordered dinner with a whole duck, chose 
the wine, and then went for a walk whilst they 
cooked it. We sat on the edge of the forest near a 
peasant's hut. It was rather damp and marshy. 
I had never met mosquitoes before and did not 
realize what they were capable of. I began to 
scratch my legs, so did my companion. We went 
back to the inn and had a magnificent dinner and 
drank Arnold Bennett's health again in white and 
red wine, then walked to the station at Moret, got 
into a train packed with French bourgeois, and, 
being very tired, slept one on each seat, packed like 
sardines between the French, until we reached Paris. 
The next day my legs were swollen to about twice 
their natural size and my friend telephoned to me 
at the Rotonde to say that he had to stay in bed as 
he couldn't walk at all. I have since been careful 
of damp and marshy ground. 

The nice Pole who lived in Modigliani's studio 
said that I could come and work there if I liked. 
The studio consisted of two long workshops, up 
many flights of stairs. Gauguin had lived on the 
floor below. It was next to the Academic Golorossi. 
The house looked as if it were going to fall down at 
any moment and one could see the sunlight shining 
through a part of the wall. There was a fire- 
escape on the wall on the inside of the window. 
It was a rope ladder with wooden rungs attached 
with an iron hook. No one ever dared to go 
down it as we thought that the wall and the house 



would probably come down too. I believe Modig- 
liani climbed down on one occasion. The studio 
was exactly as he had left it, and parts of the 
walls had been painted different colours to make 
different backgrounds. The staircase was lopsided, 
as it had already slipped about two inches from the 
wall. I was rather nervous at first about going up 
and downstairs, but it seemed to be quite safe. In 
the studio underneath lived Ortiz de Zarate, the 
South American painter. The Pole and the Arab 
sat with me in the evenings at the Cafe Parnasse. 
There were many Polish painters there at that time 
and they were unanimous in their hatred of E. 
who had gone away with my friend and my money. 
There was one particularly amusing painter called 
Rubezack, who drank wine, sang songs, and made 
jokes all day and half the night. The Arab had 
a mistress who was a Frenchwoman and was 
very jealous of him. I thought him most charm 
ing and very good-looking; he seemed to like me 
too. Rubezack had a son and had one day to 
go out of Paris to a country place to inspect the 
school. He came to the cafe and found the Arab and 
myself drinking coffee and asked us if we would 
accompany him for the afternoon. We took the train 
and came to a charming place with a large house, 
which was the school. Afterwards we sat in the gar 
den of a cafe and drank Vermouth Cassis, a drink 
which eventually goes to the head and is mostly 
drunk in France by work-girls and concierges. 
There was a swing in the garden and we took turns 
on it and behaved in a ridiculously childish way. 



We then walked across some fields, took the tram, 
and came back to the cafe to find the Arab's mis 
tress, not looking too pleased, and the Pole who 
lived in Modigliani's studio. 

Underneath the Hotel de la Haute Loire^ which 
was the hotel I stayed at in 1914, was the Restaurant 
Baty. Outside were baskets of oysters stacked up. 
Inside, the floor was tiled and covered in sawdust. 
Rosalie was still in the Rue Campagne Premiere, in 
her restaurant, and wept when Modigliani's name 
was mentioned, although, when he was alive, she 
threw him out several times a week. This was not 
really surprising as he caused a dreadful disturbance 
at times. One day I met Blaise Cendras at the 
Pamasse. He had only one arm, the other he had 
lost in the War. I had read his poetry and admired 
his work very much. He was a great friend of 
Ferdinand Leger, and they and many more amusing 
people ate every day at Baty's. Sometimes they 
would sing whilst they ate. They sang snatches 
from the Russian Ballets. They were particularly 
fond of snatches from " Scheherazade " and " Pe- 
trouska." One day, after lunch, an elderly Baroness 
came to the restaurant and they decided to go and 
see Brancusi, bringing some wine with them. They 
took the Baroness with them. She must have been 
very beautiful when she was young. She wore a 
yellow wig, which she twined round her head. She 
still had a fine figure. She asked me to dinner at her 
flat. She had several pictures of Henri Rousseau, 
the Douanier. She had the " Wedding/' a large 
picture with the bride in white in the middle and 



the one with the horse-trap and the black dog. I 
was thirty at that time and she must have been very 
much older. She asked me how old I was and I 
said, " Thirty. 53 She said, " How funny, I am only 
three years older than you." I had never met 
anyone who lied quite to that extent before and was 
rather disturbed. I thought that conversation 
under those circumstances was going to be difficult, 
if not impossible. Evan Morgan came to see her 
with me one evening. She told us that we were 
both vulgar and common and it nearly ended in a 
battle. The day that they all went to Brancusi's 
they danced and sang and the Baroness, feeling tired, 
asked if she could go upstairs and lie down for a 
short time. She did, and then went home. When 
Brancusi went to bed he was horrified to find the 
Baroness's yellow wig. It was an embarrassing 
moment for him. The next day she wrote and 
explained that it belonged to her; she said that she 
did not, as a rule, wear it, and would he send it back 
at once. 

I worked at Modigliani's studio with the Pole and 
drew at the Academy. I felt rather a fool about my 
painting as all the Poles and, in fact, all the painters 
painted in very bright colours, and mine still looked 
like London fog. I was very happy aiad felt very well 
as I always did in Paris. The Pole liked me very 
much. He painted portraits and flowers. He was 
small and well-built and looked rather like Charlie 
Chaplin, whom he imitated very well as he wore a 
pair of very baggy corduroy trousers* 






THE Pole asked me if I would go to the South of 
France, but, he said, " We must get married first. 55 
I had to confess that I already had a husband. 
After thinking for a time he decided that it really did 
not matter very much. It had never occurred to me 
that it did. I had to pretend that it was a sacrifice 
on my part. The same dealer, who had been in 
duced to give Modigliani money, bought my Pole's 
pictures from time to time. We went to see him and 
his wife. I felt like a jeune fills with her fiancS. 
They were pleased and congratulated us both. The 
dealer bought some of his pictures and gave him 
some money. I sold some drawings for a few 
hundred francs, very much less than the money that 
he had and we took a third-class train for the South. 
I did not ask where we were going to, as I was so 
thrilled with the idea of going South that I did not 
mind. Two South Americans came with us, too. 
One of them was going to Gollioure to stay with 
Foujita and his wife. The train was very uncom 
fortable. The seats were made of strips of wood 
which, when one tried to lie on them, made holes 
in one's body. We slept uncomfortably and I leant 
against my Pole, who put his arm affectionately 
round my waist. When we started from Paris it was 
cold and pouring with rain; as we got further 
South it got warmer and warmer. The South 
Americans and the Pole spoke Spanish. My Pole had 
lived for five years in Spain and spoke Spanish like 



a Spaniard. I spoke to them in French. We stopped 
for ten minutes at Lyons and went into the station 
cafe, drank coffee and ate ham sandwiches. 
The train got hotter and hotter and the sun shone 
from a cloudless blue sky. We saw olive trees and 
flowers of all colours, and finally the Pyrenees in the 
distance. I thought that I was approaching Para 
dise, and began to wonder if I had not died during 
the night and had really arrived there. I ached all 
over and was getting very hungry. We decided to 
stay at Collioure, if we liked the place, and to find 
some rooms. In order to get to Gollioure we had to 
get off the train at Port Vendres, the place where 
the boats sail for Algiers and Morocco. We arrived 
there at eight in the morning, and dragged our 
weary bodies to a little cafe on the quays. I had 
never seen such blue water and such beautifulfishing- 
boats with curved sails. The boats were painted the 
brightest of blues, greens, and reds. I looked at 
them and wondered however I should paint them; 
they were so perfect in themselves that it seemed 
impossible to do anything that would not resemble 
a coloured photograph. The cafe had melons piled 
up outside. We had a bottle of red wine to revive 
us, some coarse bread, and butter and cheese. From 
Port Vendres we had to walk to Gollioure along the 
cliffs for about four miles. There were high moun 
tains behind us and as we walked we saw an Arab 
castle on the top of a hill. It looked like something 
out of the Arabian Nights. At last we turned a corner 
and saw a bay, the other side of which was Collioure. 
There were pink, green, and white houses and an 


Arab tower on the sea-shore. We walked round the 
bay and got down to the shore. There was a 
stone path at the foot of the old fort and the sea 
came right up to the path. The Foujitas had the 
best house in Collioure. It was practically on the 
sea. There was only a road and a small stretch of 
seashore in front of it. Matisse had lived there for 
many summers. It had a balcony and several large 
rooms. At this time Foujita was living with his 
first wife, whom I had not met before. She was 
French and had most beautiful legs, but her body 
was shapeless and enormous. She had the most 
terrifying face I have ever seen and I was frightened 
of her. She screamed at Foujita most of the time. 
They were very kind and pleased to see us and found 
us a charming place in a very narrow street near the 
sea. It cost a hundred and fifty francs a month. It, 
had a large room, with two windows looking on to 
the street, and an alcove at the back which con 
tained a bed. There was also another small alcove. 
In the front room was a primitive stove which burnt 
charcoal. The old lady who rented it to us was very 
ugly and had long teeth like a horse. Appar 
ently in this part of the world, there is something in 
the water which makes people's teeth drop out, and 
even the quite young women had teeth missing. 

There were no sanitary arrangements of any kind 
and a bucket was placed in the Smaller alcove for 
my use. The gentlemen of the town walked every 
morning up a hill to the moat of the fort. The old 
lady and most of her family earned their living by 
packing and salting fish, principally sardines. 



Under each of the houses in the street were large 
cellars in which they packed the fish. The women 
dressed in black with black handkerchiefs over their 
heads. Our landlady's sister kept a little shop. She 
sold everything, including tobacco. She had one 
of the most beautiful faces that I have ever seen. 
She must have been nearly fifty and wore the black 
dress that all the women wore; she moved her 
hands most gracefully. She had a beautiful voice 
and looked like the Virgin Mary. I asked the land 
lady if there were not any photographs of her when 
she was young. She said that they never troubled 
about anything like that, and that the people for 
miles around came to Collioure to look at her and 
admire her. 

The evening of our arrival Foujita and his wife 
asked us to dinner. Foujita was a marvellous cook, 
and we all went to the kitchen and helped. It ended 
by us all being chased out, as Foujita explained in 
Japanese, rather forcibly, that " too many cooks 
spoilt the broth/ 5 We had breakfast in a cafe the 
next morning, and afterwards I wandered round the 
town with a string bag to visit the shops. I bought 
some meat, and some potatoes and onions, and the 
Pole and I cooked it. He cooked very well indeed, 
and I knew how to do several things quite well. We 
had lunch and then went out to view the landscape 
to see what we could paint. I was frightened of be 
ginning anything, as he painted much better than I 
did, but he was very kind and sympathetic, and said 
that it did not matter much what I painted, but " // 
faut travailler" He had been a great friend of 



Modigliani's, and knew many stories about him, so 
I was never bored for a minute. We went to the 
sea-shore every morning with the Foujitas and the 
South American. There were bathing-boxes, and 
Madame Foujita and I shared one and the men had 
another. Foujita swam like a fish and dived 
beautifully. I could not swim at all, the result of 
my having been " ducked " when I was a child, but 
they all decided to teach me. We all made a great 
effort and finally after a week, I managed to swim 
five metres, and after a scream of triumph, sank. 
We went in the evening to a cafe where they had, on 
Friday nights, Cafe Concerts. The songs they sang 
shocked even me, they were of an unbelievable 
indecency, but the population were delighted, and 
cheered loudly. I drew at the cafe during the day 
time, as we sometimes went there after lunch. 
There were Senegalese working near by, digging a 
trench. They never appeared to be doing any work, 
they just posed in attitudes, resting on their pickaxes 
and their shovels, standing in very well composed 
groups, never moving at all. We stayed at Collioure 
for three months and even then the trench was not 
completed. One day my Pole said to one of them, 
" How do you like the women here? " And he re 
plied, " Not at all, they smell too much/ 5 Ap 
parently the white girls smelt as badly to them as 
the black men did to the white girls, and so no one 
had any success at all. 

We had brought metres of canvas with us and 
some stretchers, and a few days later I found a 
motif. It was up a hill; one saw roofs in the fore- 



ground and the Arab tower with the sea behind and 
a few fishing -boats with white sails, and in the 
background a green hill with white waves washing 
against the rocks. I saw the painting again the 
other day. It is in the collection of Mary Anders. 
The white waves were very well painted and so 
was the Arab tower. The roofs and the sea I did 
not think so highly of, and thought how much 
better I could have painted them now. The Pole 
was very sweet and encouraging. The Foujitas 
suggested that we should take our supper and some 
wine to the Arab castle that we had seen on our way 
to Gollioure. We started off about four p.m. and 
climbed the hill. There had been a drawbridge, 
with quite a narrow and small drop, only about two 
yards wide and six feet deep. It was quite easy to 
jump across it, which I and the Pole did at once, 
without a thought. When it came to Mrs. Foujita 
she screamed with terror. The Pole and I jumped 
back and made her jump, she was in a fainting con 
dition by the time she got to the other side. I made 
a few sinister remarks in bad taste about education 
at the Royal School of Officers 3 Daughters of the 
Army, the British Empire, cricket, sport, courage, 
etc., which I don't think the poor creature was in 
a condition to hear. We revived her with some wine 
and walked up the steps inside the castle. The 
castle was square outside, but inside there was a 
round hole, surrounded by a path. On the stone 
floor, at intervals of a few yards, were holes, and 
underneath was water, into which enemies were 
pushed. We got on to the roof, which was large 


and flat. The view was magnificent. We sat down 
and had our supper of wine, bread, olives and sar 
dines : one could never escape at any meal from the 
eternal sardine it appeared in every form salted , 
fresh, boiled and fried. Madame Foujita spoke in a 
gruff and angry voice, even when she was not 
annoyed, but that was not often. Foujita was 
angelic and never answered back or said a word. 
I don't think that she had ever seen or met an 
English person before, and she would sit and gaze 
at me in astonishment for hours. The South 
American had apparently been very rich once and 
was an ex-amour of Madame Foujita's. He had a 
face like a hawk and a long thin body that was 
rather beautiful and resembled an old ivory Spanish 
crucifix. He was very Spanish and talked about 
poetry, life, hope, and the soul. The Pole knew a 
good deal about Spaniards and laughed at him 
sometimes. Madame Foujita suspected me of 
laughing at her too, but she was, I am thankful to 
say, not quite sure. Foujita painted at home during 
the afternoons. He did not use an easel, but placed 
a canvas against a chair and sat on the floor with 
his legs crossed. He worked with a tiny brush, very 
rapidly. The South American sat in the sun, drank 
wine, and blinked his eyes. 

My Pole and I went out every day to find new 
motifs to paint. After a week we saw so many sub 
jects that we thought that we would have to stay 
there for about seventy years in order to accomplish 
them. I tried to paint olive trees. I found them 
almost impossible. One day we found a beautiful 



motif on a hill. It was very windy, so we attached 
our easels to a string and a large stone, so that they 
could not move. I was painting furiously, and 
suddenly, behind an olive tree, appeared a Japanese. 
He said, " Bon jour, Nina" and I looked at him for 
a moment and recognized him as the friend of 
Foujita Kavashima. This was quite fantastic as 
one does not expect to see people one has not seen 
for ten years on a Pyrenee. 

One day we decided to have a picnic in the 
woods. We bought sardines, bread, cheese and 
some wine. We found a place with very green 
grass. I thought at once of mosquitoes we 
spread out some paper on the grass. After lunch 
the paper was strewn all over the place. I said, 
thinking of Hampstead Heath, " We must clean 
the paper up. 95 Madame Foujita said, " Pourquoi! " 
And I said, " It spoils the landscape, 55 and so I 
dug a hole in the ground and buried all the paper 
and sardine bones. After lunch Foujita saw a 
large tree. It had a big trunk and no branches at 
all. He said, " I will climb this tree. 55 I wondered 
how he was going to do it. He took the trunk of the 
tree with one hand on each side and climbed up 
like a monkey. We all looked at him with astonish 
ment and admiration. He could use his toes in the 
same way that he could use his fingers. To enter 
Spain one had to have a visa. None of us had one, 
but we wanted very much to get to Port Bou, which 
is the first Port in Spain. Madame Foujita, although 
tiresome at times, was a woman of determined 
character, and if she made up her mind to do some- 



thing, nothing, not even the police force, or the 
customs officials, could thwart her. We heard that 
there was a fete day in Spain. She had a brilliant 

We would take the train to Cerbere, the last 
station before Spain, and walk over the Pyrenees 
into Spain. Madame Foujita dressed herself up in 
her best clothes, with a pair of very high-heeled 
patent leather shoes, not forgetting to put in 
Foujita's pocket a pair of rope-soled shoes. This I 
did not know about when we started and wondered 
how she would climb the mountain, which was of 
a respectable height. I wore a corduroy land girl's 
coat and skirt, with pockets all over it, and looked 
extremely British. We got to Cerbere and arrived 
at the foot of the mountain. Madame F. took off 
the high-heeled shoes, which Foujita put in his 
pocket, and put on the rope-soled shoes and we 
began to climb the mountain. About a quarter of 
the way up we were stopped by the Customs, who 
asked to see our passports. Madame F. took the 
situation in hand, and explained in forcible language 
that we were not climbing the mountain with a view 
to descending the other side into Spain, but only to 
admire, from the top, the Spanish scenery. I think 
they were so terrified of her that they let us continue. 
When we got to the top of the mountain we could see 
thirty or forty miles of Spain. This mountain was 
not nearly so high as the one that we had climbed 
before; so we saw the view much more clearly. 
We saw a square hole in the ground, which had some 
steps leading downwards. We all walked down and 



found a cellar with Spaniards drinking wine out of 
bottles with long spouts* They held the spouts to 
their lips, opened their throats, and down went the 
wine. We ordered a bottle of wine and some glasses. 
The Pole and the South American drank out of the 
bottles. The French, who were entering Spain, 
drank to the health of the Spaniards, and the 
Spaniards who were about to enter France, drank 
to the health of the French. We drank to every 
body's health, including our own, and the Customs 
House Officers. We then descended the other side 
of the mountain and entered Port Bou. The cafes 
were filled. The Spanish men wore black hats and 
smoked cigars. When they saw me they screamed, 
" Inglese! Inglese! " This, I realized, was regrettable, 
but could not be helped. The Spaniards had little 
fans, which they flapped all the time. We found a 
restaurant and ordered a large lunch with a litre of 
Spanish wine. It cost us a good deal of money, as 
we had to change our francs into pesetas. The wine 
was so strong that even five of us dared not finish the 
bottle, which we left only three-quarters empty. 
After lunch we visited the fete. There were re 
gattas, and dances, and guitars, and what was de 
scribed as pigeon-shooting. This rather horrified 
me as the unfortunate pigeons were tied to posts 
by their legs. The Spaniards shot at them. There 
was a whole row of pigeons and if one was wounded 
they very rarely killed one outright it flapped its 
wings and frightened the other birds. It was then 
time to return, as we had our train to catch at 
Cerb^re. We passed the Customs, who were tactful 



enough not to ask us any questions, and returned to 

After two weeks Foujita and his wife had to return 
to Paris. We had a letter from a Pole, R., and his 
wife, to say that they were coming to Collioure. 
They had found an apartment near the port. 
Madame R. was very fat and very bourgeoise, and I 
thought rather kind. My Pole did not like her very 
much. I think the same kind of person, if she had 
been English, would have been quite impossible, 
but we, being females, and of such different races, 
got on very well. At least she was a change from 
Madame Foujita. She was always suffering from a 
different malady, she had indigestion, rheumatism, 
change of life, stomach troubles, headaches, feet that 
would not walk, and all kinds of other things. One 
day we went to the seashore to bathe. R. very 
seldom bathed, because he said that his figure looked 
like a "sac de merde" which indeed it did. His wife 
had the good sense not to bathe at all. My Pole 
bathed with a pair of bathing -drawers, not the. 
regulation kind that covers the chest. When he 
walked out of his bathing box Madame R. gave a 
scream of horror and said, " C'est indecent I " I then 
gave another lecture about England and told her 
what I thought about her views of morality in very 
forcible language. One evening we were sitting in 
our cafe, which had a terrasse in front and each side 
a small wall about two feet high. It was about six 
p.m. and quite light. Suddenly, on the other side of 
the wall, a strange figure appeared; he had a black 
beard, a cap, and scarf round his neck. He said 



something in Spanish and my Pole said, of course, 
in French, as he did not speak English, " He speaks 
fifteenth-century Spanish." My Pole knew Spanish 
literature very well indeed, and answered him, and 
they had a conversation. We asked him to have a 
drink, but he disappeared behind the wall in the 
same way that he had appeared. We never saw him 
again. My Pole said to me that it was a drole de 
chose, and I agreed with him. 

One morning I went out with my string bag to 
buy the food for the day. I saw outside the butcher's 
a cart full of pigs that had come to be killed. I 
thought that perhaps they would kill them in a 
slaughter-house and went for a walk to buy butter 
and bread. When I came back I saw one pig sitting 
outside the butcher's shop with its head on its front 
paws, and large tears streaming out of its eyes. I 
was told that its brother had been killed in the 
street before its eyes and that it was crying. This 
sounds a fantastic story. I walked away and told 
my Pole. He said that it was true and that pigs 
were so like human beings that they wept when they 
were unhappy. An hour later I went back to buy 
some pork and they gave it to me and it was warm 
and I cried too. R., my Pole, and I went for walks 
together. Madame R. could not and would not. 
We were all glad about this as her only topics of 
conversation were her diseases and her troubles. 
We walked sometimes to Port Vendres. I sat in 
the cafe on the front. There was a very high 
mountain behind Collioure. We wanted to climb 
it, but heard that it was very much further away 



and higher than it looked. I was determined 
to do some mountaineering, so we found a nearer 
mountain that was only seven hundred metres 
high and from the top of which one could see 
Spain. We started one afternoon. The first part 
was easy, but as we got higher up we had to climb 
over rocks, sometimes having to cling on to the 
grass and shrubs. We got hot and thirsty and 
found a spring. We wished that we had brought 
some beer with us. When we reached the top the 
view was wonderful. Spain was so entirely different 
from France. The whole character of the landscape 
was different. On the horizon was a small black 
cloud. My Pole said that we must descend as 
quickly as possible as, in a very short time, there 
would be a terrific storm. Just as we reached the 
foot of the mountain the storm broke. I had never 
seen such lightning before and we had to take re 
fuge in a shop. It was like a large cellar and the 
whole floor was stacked with melons. We sat on 
the melons, which were very uncomfortable, and 
the old lady gave us some wine. The storm went on 
for so long that we got bored with waiting and went 
home. We had to take the path at the foot of the 
fortress, where we had walked on the day we 
arrived. The rain came down in torrents and within 
a tew seconds we were all dripping. The lightning 
struck the sea a few feet from us and I never expected 
to get home alive. Our street was a pool of water. 
We lit the charcoal fire and were not dry till the 
next day. 

At least every two weeks there was a fete, when 



nobody did any work. A comic band appeared. 
They played in a little square. There were four of 
them in Catalan costume and they sat on four 
barrels. Three of them played curious instruments 
like clarionets, but they made an odd noise,, almost 
like bagpipes, and the fourth one played a trumpet. 
They played one particular tune over and over 
again and the peasants danced Catalan dances. I 
think that, during one week, there were three fete 
days. As we lived near the square and as the band 
played till after midnight we found it rather tire 
some. We painted one motif in the morning and 
another in the afternoon. I found a wonderful 
scene with trees and houses. After I had painted 
the usual blue sky for two afternoons a storm arose 
and the sky became dark blue. I painted as hard 
as I could and the painting was getting better and 
better and then the downpour started and I had 
to run for shelter. Of course, I never finished the 
painting as there was not another storm. I always 
think that it might have been a masterpiece. I 
think one thinks that about every picture one has not 
finished. We had painted about fourteen pictures 
and the money was getting rather low. We had only 
about three weeks 5 money left. 

There was a curious old lady who paraded up and 
down the streets. She was a beggar and moved 
from place to place according to the seasons. She 
spent the winter months in Paris. Everyone hated 
her because she sang or rather croaked in a loud 
and raucous voice. When she walked down our 
street all the inhabitants put their heads out of their 


windows and aimed at her with the contents of 
their pots de chambre. 

The grapes were now ripe and the time had come 
for the wine to be made. In the street in front of 
our door a wine-press was put up. One had to step 
over a part of it in order to get out. This continued 
for about a week and the wine-press was removed. 
One morning I went out with my string bag to buy 
the lunch and was hailed by our landlady. She 
asked me to come and taste the newly-made wine. 
I went into her cellar where she packed the fish. I 
met her beautiful sister coming up the stairs smelling 
very strongly of sardines. It seemed to me odd to 
find a woman, who looked so like the Virgin Mary, 
smelling of fish. I went into the cellar, where I 
found my landlady, who had lost another tooth, 
surrounded by all her relatives, tasting the new 
wine. I joined them. It was rather raw, but gave 
one a pleasant feeling of amiability. When I left 
I met, in the street, another neighbour, who also 
invited me to taste her wine. I could not possibly 
refuse and had some white wine. On emerging I 
found still another neighbour and had to repeat the 
process. I then arrived home without any lunch at 
all and fell sound asleep. My Pole was very kind 
and sympathetic and forgave my abominable be 

The patron of the caf< we frequented was a 
charming man and now and then bought us drinks. 
(Madame R. had already left for Paris.) When 
he heard we were leaving he asked us to have 
a Catalan breakfast. He said that we must arrive 



at eight a.m. Breakfast consisted of a huge dish of 
anchovies, swimming in oil and garlic, sausages, 
olives, black and white bread, and first white wine 
and then red. There were three bottles of white 
wine and three of red and four of us to drink them. 
At nine-thirty we left. My Pole, R., and I decided 
that the only thing for us to do was to take a long 
walk. We walked silently for about three miles 
when we came to the sea-shore where we lay down 
in a row on the pebbles and slept. There was, of 
course, no question of the tide coming in or going 
out as there is practically no tide at all in the 
Mediterranean and some hours later we woke up 
feeling rather worse and smelling horribly of garlic. 
I have never since really appreciated either ancho 
vies or garlic and hope that I shall not again have 
to experience a Catalan breakfast. We had by now 
just the railway fare back to Paris. 




I WENT to Modigliani's studio and stayed with the 
Pole. It was very uncomfortable but I did not mind 
as I was quite used to discomfort. My Pole sold 
some pictures to the dealer and a collector, so we 
had a little money to live on. We had a large coke 
stove on which we cooked. There was no gas or 
electric light., so we had an oil lamp. In the morn 
ings the Pole cleaned and filled the lamp, and in the 
evenings we read the French classics, sitting one 
each side of Modigliani's old and scarred table. 
The picture-dealer had a spare copy of Modigliani's 
death mask. There were, I think, four taken. It 
was rather horrible as his mouth had not been 
bound up and his jaw dropped. It looked terrifying 
through the door of the first workshop in the shadow. 
We felt that we had to keep it with us, because if we 
put it out or gave it away it would be a breach of 
friendship. The Arab came and spent the evenings 
with us. Sometimes we got a bottle of cheap wine 
and talked about Montparnasse before the War. 
The painter who lived downstairs came to see us 
sometimes too. In the summer he became very 
eccentric and did the most odd things. The first 
thing he would do was to break the lock of his studio 
door. One night we came home from the Cafe 
Parnasse about midnight and found his door wide 
open. In front of the door, on an easel, was a 
painting of an enormous eye. It was done in great 
detail and was about two feet wide and a foot high. 



He was not in. We did not know what to do, so we 
closed the door. We were quite certain that Modig- 
liani was still with us and fancied at night that we 
could hear his footsteps walking through the studio. 
It was certainly a most sinister place. 

We worked during the daytime. I painted Still 
Life and worked at the Academy from the nude in 
the afternoon. We did a great deal of work. We 
had a tabby cat. Once we were all very broke, 
myself., the Pole, and the Arab. For three days we 
could not find a penny, we did not mind much about 
ourselves, but we were so sorry for the cat, who had 
to starve also. We had a lot of Modigliani's books 
and in despair the Pole took one on philosophy and 
read it to us. As he turned over the pages he sud 
denly came to a HUNDRED FRANC NOTE. 
Modigliani's wife used to hide money away from him 
and this was one of his notes. We were so delighted 
that we rushed into the nearest workmen's restaur 
ant, taking the cat with us, and ate and drank to 
Modigliani's health the whole evening. The poor 
cat ended in a very tragic way. One evening we 
were reading and the cat began to run round in 
circles. We realized that it had gone mad so we 
locked it up in the lavatory and went out. We dared 
not come home until the next morning. We sat in 
cafe all night and at eight in the morning came 
home to find an apparently dead cat. We went to 
bed as we were very tired and suddenly heard a most 
dreadful howl. We opened the door of the lava 
tory and found that the cat was really dead. The 
next thing to do was to dispose of the body. We 



decided that we could not put our poor friend in 
the dustbin so we sat down and thought. In the 
gutters of the streets of Paris are, at intervals, 
small slits about a foot and a half long and about 
six inches high. These lead to the sewers of Paris, 
which lead to the Seine. We decided that at 
night we would wrap our cat's body up and drop 
him down, and he might eventually float down to 
the sea, I thought of Alfred Jarry's remark about 
dead people. I think it is in the Docteur Faustrol; I 
can't quote it in French, but when he asks, " What 
is the difference between live people and the dead? " 
the answer is, " The live ones can swim both up 
and down the river, but the dead ones can only 
swim down. 33 We stretched our cat out straight and 
wrapped him in two layers of paper and tied him up 
with string. We made a handle of the string and he 
looked rather like a parcel containing a long bottle. 
At nine in the evening we went out, the Pole holding 
the parcel by the string handle. We crept round 
the neighbourhood, looking for a quiet spot. We 
walked for some time round the Luxembourg 
gardens and finally found a suitable place in the 
Rue d'Assas. Both crying bitterly, we popped him 
in and then went to the Gaf<6 Parnasse, and had 
some drinks. Everyone asked why we were so sad, 
but we did not tell them, and went home to bed. 

The Pole knew many Spaniards and they came 
to our studio and played and sang. . . , They were 
much the same as the South American. I liked the 
Spaniards. They seemed to spend their lives playing 
guitars. Even so they really did a great deal of work. 



That is what I admired so much about them. 
There was a Spanish hairdresser in the Rue Delam- 
bre. I had my hair cut there. There was not a 
ladies 5 place and I had to sit with the French 
workmen, who were being shaved. The Spaniard 
was a little man with a turned up moustache, who 
danced on his toes as he was shaving the workmen. 
One day his wife came in with a large bunch of 
flowers. The Spaniard was delighted, and the 
Frenchman whom he was shaving, said, " Why do 
you buy flowers? I should prefer to buy bifsteak," 
and the Spaniard stood on his toes, waved the razor, 
and said, " Pour nourrir Vesprit" and after that I 
appreciated the Spaniards even more. 

There was a strange old Spanish gipsy called 
Fabian. He had been in England with Augustus 
John and Horace Cole. He was at one time one of 
the finest guitarists in Spain. He had taken to 
painting and painted rather bad El Grecos. He 
spoke frequently of Le Dessin and I went to his 
studio, more to induce him to play the guitar than 
to see his pictures. On an easel was an enormous 
canvas with a crucifixion on it. It had a red 
curtain in front of it and Fabian drew it aside with 
great reverence. I finally induced him. to take 
down his guitar from the wall. He began to tune 
it. Guitarists are very difficult people I can 
accompany songs of a rather questionable nature 
myself and I have a good deal of sympathy for 
them. Fabian being a Spaniard, and a gipsy at that, 
was extremely difficult and tuned and tuned for 
nearly an hour. At last he got it tuned and played 



gipsy tunes and dances, which made one want to 
dance. A Spaniard one day became very angry 
with him and wanted revenge. It was not a very 
serious quarrel and the Spaniard decided to have a 
little fun and a quiet revenge at the same time. He 
explained to Fabian that his eyesight was weak and 
that he ought to see an oculist. They went off 
together and found one. The oculist showed 
Fabian some printed words in quite small print and 
said, " Can you read that? " And Fabian said, 
" No." He then showed him some larger print and 
Fabian again said, * c No! " After showing him 
some larger and larger print poor Fabian had to 
confess that he could neither read nor write. This, 
of course, the Spaniard knew already and went 
home quite satisfied. There was another Spaniard 
who came often, before the War, to Hunt Diederich's 
studio. He was the laziest man I had ever met. He 
did admirable woodcuts. I think he had done 
about three in ten years. One day he was sitting 
in the studio with his guitar and Hunt gave him 
some money to go out and buy a bottle of wine. He 
was so lazy that he could not even do that. He was 
painted by Modigliani, a very fine portrait and like 
ness. He was trying to sell it in 1920 for four 
hundred francs. Alas! I could not find the four 
hundred francs. 

At this time, 1920, Nancy Cunard, Marie Beer- 
bohm, T. W. Earp, Iris Tree and Evan Morgan, and 
several other English people were in Paris and we 
had wonderful parties at Charlie Winzer's flat. 
Some more English arrived and found that the 



French drinks were not strong enough. After some 
serious research work a drink was concocted that 
satisfied them. It was named " Pernod (Susie) Suze 
Fine/' imitation absinthe, gentian, and brandy. 
The cheap French brandy is very much like 
methylated spirits. I tried the mixture but found 
it impossible to get down. This kept them happy 
for some weeks, until a day came when one member 
of the party, whilst attempting to cross a street in 
Montmartre, became suddenly transfixed in the 
middle of the street. He was rigid like a waxwork 
and as immovable. His companion had, with the 
aid of a friendly taxi-driver, to lift him bodily into 
a taxi. After this incident the English satisfied 
themselves with milder forms of alcohol. One day 
I bought Odilon Redon's Journal, called, "a soi 
meme" and, whilst reading it, came upon the follow 
ing passage, which I thought rather beautiful: 
" J'ai passe dans Us allies froides et silencieuses du 
cimetiere et pres des tombes desertes. Etfai connu le calme 
d* esprit" I thought that I would visit the Cimetiere 
Montparnasse. It gave me a curious feeling of 
gloom as I thought of Edgar. I walked down the 
avenue of trees and came across a large section 
which is set apart for Jews. Further on I found a 
most curious tomb. It was the tomb of some 
sale bourgeois. It consisted of a large bronze French 
bedstead. At the top was a bronze angel and 
at the foot a bronze india-rubber plant. In the 
bed, on a bronze counterpane, lay Monsieur and 
Madame Pigeon. Monsieur lay on his side in a 
bronze frock coat, and Madame lay beside him 



in dark bronze bombazine. Her hair was done in 
a bun on the top of her head, in the same manner as 
the ladies in the drawings of Forain and Steinlen. 
In the middle of the bed, between them, was a dip 
in the counterpane, which, when it rains, becomes a 
large puddle. Further on, on the same side of the 
cemetery, in the corner is a small grave covered in 
ivy, with China jam-jars, filled with daffodils. The 
tombstone was sculptured by Brancusi. It repre 
sents two crouching figures glued together. A man 
and a woman. The female is to be distinguished 
only by her long hair and a slight indication of one 
breast. The rest of her anatomy is shared by her 
partner. This, I found out afterwards, was most 
unsuitable, as the body in the grave the inscription 
was carved in Russian, so I could not read it was 
that of a young Russian girl of seventeen who was 
infatuated with an elderly doctor who was mar 
ried and did not love her. She committed suicide 
and died a virgin. I crossed the road, as a road 
runs through the cemetery and found the tomb of 
Baudelaire. He lies on his tomb in a winding 
sheet. At the head, looming over him, is a sinister 
figure, the model of which, I believe, was Monsieur 
de Max. A Frenchman whom I knew had a whole 
nest of ancestors buried somewhere in the cemetery, 
and on the anniversary of any one of their deaths 
arrived with some friends and bottles of wine and 
they drank to the health of the Oncle Augustin or 
the Tante Emilienne. I found also Ste. Beuve, 
who sits in front of a stone bookcase, containing all 
his books, and these are quite enough to fill the 

1 60 


whole bookcase. Further on I found an obelisk, 
about twenty feet high. This is in memory of the 
Admiral Dumont d'Urville who discovered the 
Venus de Milo. Encircling it are his three tours 
du monde. In the last one you can see the Admiral 
in full uniform in a small boat, lifting from the ocean 
the nude and stony corpse of the Venus de Milo. 
By this time I had arrived at the part of the cemetery 
which is near the Avenue du Maine. I found the 
tomb of the Famille Guillotine and further on an 
enormous and important-looking tomb. On each 
side sat two lions, rather like those in Trafalgar 
Square. On the tombstone, in the middle, are the 
names of a Greek prince and a French countess, 
with no explanation. I thought that this was very 
romantic. I hoped that they had loved one another, 
but thought afterwards that, perhaps, they had only 
had business relations. I have never discovered 
the truth about them. After this I returned to the 
Cafe Parnasse where I had found that some English, 
friends had arrived. They asked me out to dinner. 
I had known them slightly before the War. We ate 
oysters and dined at Baty's, did all the cafes, found 
some pre-war friends, and ended up in the markets, 
Les Halles, amongst the cabbages. When one visited 
the markets one always arrived back at the Dome or 
the Parnasse laden with flowers and cabbages, which 
were very cheap. One day someone arrived back 
with a sack of potatoes ! 

The English, at this time, were going very strong 
indeed, they all had money and had not been back 
to Paris since the War. My Pole did not really ap- 



prove of them as they were only too glad to lead me 
astray and, as almost every day one found someone 
whom one had not seen for years, it was difficult not 
to celebrate. On another occasion an old friend of 
mine, after dinner, found a cellar near the Place 
St. Michel called the " Bol de cidre" One entered a 
cafe through a large door, which was down a little 
passage. The patron was an enormous Norman in 
a white apron. There were large barrels of cider 
on the floor, and at the back a smaller room. On 
the walls was a list of celebrities who had visited the 
place. Paul Verlaine, Laurent Tailhade, Oscar 
Wilde, and so many others that I have forgotten 
their names. We drank cider out of a bowl and had 
a calvados to cheer it up. Downstairs was a cellar 
with Norman arches dated 1145. This place had 
been the stable of Francis I. The street next to it is 
called " La rue oil git le coeur." I always thought that 
that meant, " The street where the heart lodged," 
but I was told afterwards that it meant something 
different. Down a side street, at the corner, was the 
river. There was a large house which had belonged 
to Francis I, at the corner of the street on the quays. 
In the time of Francis I the river came right up 
to the house. At the other corner of the street was 
a smaller house. Here had lived his mistress and 
high up over the street was a footbridge connecting 
the two houses. In the front room of the Bol was a 
counter at which were standing a collection of 
ruffians of both sexes. We went downstairs to the 
cellar. There were wooden tables and chairs and 
a small platform with a man playing an accordion. 



We sat down and ordered some cider mixed with 
calvados calvados is made from apples and tastes 
very agreeable. A singer got up on the platform and 
sang vulgar songs. Having learnt my French in the 
University of Montparnasse I could understand 
every word; at times I rather wished I couldn't. 
The songs were what Evelyn Waugh would have 
called., cc Blush-making. 5 ' Sometimes there were 
very unpleasant battles in the cellar, and as the 
staircase was narrow and winding, it was not easy 
to get out in time. One evening a man and a woman 
were there who spoke English and tried to pick a 
quarrel with us with a view to blackmail. Having 
visited this kind of place before, the man was rapidly 
disposed of. 

One day I was sitting on the terrasse of theRotonde, 
at about nine in the morning, reading the Continental 
Daily Mail a deplorable habit and a figure ap 
peared, having leapt over three tables. This was 
Evan Morgan, who had just arrived back from 
Marseilles; he was dressed in black and looked very 
smart. He said, ec How do you like my clothes? " 
I said, " How smart ! " He said, cc Oh, no, a sailors' 
shop in Marseilles. To-day is my birthday, let us 
have a dinner-party and you must be the hostess." 
We walked down the Boulevard Montparnasse in 
the direction of the station. Opposite the station 
is a very good restaurant called the Trianon, where 
James Joyce always dines. I had not met him at 
this time. It had Plats regionaux, a different dish 
each day from a different part of France. We 
decided to ask twelve people, fourteen including 



ourselves. I had discovered in Montparnasse an 
artist's model who was the image of Evan. He was 
much amused and said that we must invite her too. 
We hired a private room and ordered the dinner. 
We invited Curtis Moffat, who had a passion for 
ecrevisses. Ecrevisses are like very small lobsters and 
repose on a large dish covered in a very beautiful 
sauce. We ordered fifty. We ordered hors 
d'oeuvres, soup, chickens, a colossal dinner with 
cocktails, red and white wine, champagne and 
coffee and liqueurs. The patron gave us an estimate 
of eight hundred francs, which was very cheap in 
deed. Ivan Opfer, the cartoonist, came. He is a 
Dane and had lived in America and talks with an 
accent that is a mixture of Danish and American. 
He looks like a Viking, and tells stories better than 
anyone I have ever met. He is the only person 
I know who can take a long time to tell a story, 
and he is such an admirable actor that he can make 
every word interesting. Curtis came and was de 
lighted with the Ecrevisses. Eating them is a long 
and messy business, because one has to use one's 
fingers. Harrison Dowd was there and played the 
piano to us. The artist's model turned up and 
bored us so much that we regretted having asked 
her. I must say that I behaved very well. I was so 
flattered to find myself in the important role of 
hostess that I was extremely occupied the whole 
evening dealing with the needs of the guests, and did 
not drink too much. Fortunately, the artist's model, 
having decided that there was not much chance of 
getting money for the honour of her presence, re- 



membered that she had an important engagement 
with a rich man. We breathed a sigh of relief and 
settled down to the coffee and liqueurs and to listen 
to Ivan's stories. After a few liqueurs everyone else 
remembered some stories, including myself, and the 
party continued till the early hours of the morning. 
I decided to do a series of water-colours of cafes 
and street scenes, and have an exhibition in London. 
Every day I did a drawing which I took home and 
painted from memory. I was astonished to find how 
quickly one can train one's memory and after a few 
weeks I could do them with perfect ease. I was 
thinking of the pictures that I had done at Gollioure. 
I had about fifteen of them and decided that I ought 
to go to London and try and make some money. 
Walter Sickert had a house near Dieppe and I wrote 
to him telling him that I was going to London by 
Dieppe-Newhaven. He wrote asking me to stay 
with him. I packed my pictures up and Sickert 
met me at Dieppe. I did not recognize him at first 
as he wore a sailor's peaked cap, oilskins, and a red 
spotted handkerchief round his neck. He was 
always difficult to recognize if one had not seen him 
for some time. He might appear with an enormous 
beard like a Crimean veteran or he would dress 
himself in very loud checks and a bowler hat and 
look like something off a race-course. We took a 
taxi to Envermeu, where he had a house; it was 
some miles away from Dieppe. We drove through 
the forest of Arques, where there was a battle in 
about 1600. The forest looked very beautiful, as it 
was autumn, and the roads and the ground of the 



forest were covered with red and yellow leaves. 
Sickert had bought a house that was once a Police 
Station. It was on the main street. As a matter of 
fact there was only one street. It was a long, narrow 
house, and the rooms were in a straight line and all 
numbered. These had been cells. My room was 
" numero 3." We ate in a large kitchen. The cook 
and the gardener sat at one table and we sat at a 
larger one in the middle of the room. Sickert talked 
to the servants throughout lunch and dinner and 
made them laugh a great deal. They drank red 
wine and cider and we drank red wine and calvados. 
Envermeu is a dull, flat place, and I never knew 
why Sickert had chosen it. I don't think he painted 
much there but went into Dieppe, where he painted 
some of his best pictures. These are very different 
from his Camden Town period. The Camden Town 
ones are in a very low key of blacks, greys, and 
Indian reds, whereas the Dieppe pictures were 
painted in the most brilliant greens, blues, yellows 
and reds. I think that it is quite impossible to com 
pare their merits and that it is really a question of 
personal taste. On the evening of my arrival I 
showed him my pictures, hoping that he would like 
them. He was, unfortunately, horrified and hated 
them. This filled me with gloom. I rather admired 
them myself at that time, but, having seen some of 
them recently, am inclined to think that he was 
right. I have come to the conclusion that the South 
of France and I have nothing in common. Brittany 
I can deal with, as it is more like England, but the 
South, with its hard purple shadows, white houses, 

1 66 


and perpetually blue sky is not a part of my " make 
up. 55 We went into Dieppe to look at the Channel 
and found it so appallingly rough that I waited 
another day and then took the boat for Newhaven. 
I arrived in London and went to the Eiffel Tower, 
where I got a small room near the roof. The next 
day a friend of mine bought a picture. I had not 
enough pictures for an exhibition, but Mr. Turner, 
of the Independent Gallery, said that he was having 
a mixed show of English painters and that I could 
exhibit four or five. I sold another small painting 
and decided to return to Paris and to my Pole. I 
was glad to be back. I was in no better position 
than if I had not gone at all and felt that my life 
was a failure and damned the South of France. 
I continued my water-colours. I went daily to 
the Luxembourg Gardens where I did some really 
good work, I think. There is a statue there that I 
always admired. It is of a lady standing up, with 
- her feet crossed, in a very short skirt indeed, and a 
strange little hat like an inverted soup plate. I did 
a drawing of her. Some years later I went to the 
Bal Julien dressed as her. I wore a pink silk 
accordion pleated garment, that really was a pair 
of knickers. They had no legs, but only a ribbon to 
divide them. I borrowed them from a rich American 
woman and cut the ribbon so that it looked exactly 
like the skirt of the statue. They had garlands of 
blue silk forget-me-nots embroidered on them. I 
wore a short blue, tight-fitting jacket that I had 
bought at the " Flea market " at Caulincourt and a 
very small blue hat that looked like a comedian's 



bowler. It was almost flat and looked very like the 
one worn by the statue. I had a great success at the 
ball, especially when I explained whom I repre 

My friend 3 with whom I had gone to Russia in 
1909, returned to Paris with her husband. They 
were both very bright and cheerful and had met 
Ferdinand Tuohy. Tuohy was a large, good-looking 
and cheerful Irishman, who laughed perpetually and 
wrote the most beautiful English. B., my friend's 
husband, was a very amusing man and did extremely 
funny caricatures. One day Tuohy had been 
celebrating. I forget whether it was the finish 
of a love affair, or the beginning of another, as 
he was generally in love with someone. He arrived 
at the Dome about breakfast time. I was with 
B. and his wife. Tuohy ordered what he described 
as " Turk's blood"; this was stout and cham 
pagne mixed. We realized that any idea of spend 
ing a serious day was out of the question. About 
12 a.m. several other people had joined us and 
there were a considerable number of stout and 
champagne bottles. It suddenly occurred to Tuohy 
and B. that they looked like soldiers and they pro 
ceeded to divide them into regiments, the cham 
pagne bottles representing officers, large and small, 
and the stout bottles ordinary soldiers. This kept 
them occupied for hours. Finally they took them 
out on the terrasse and were joined by some workmen 
and taxi-drivers who were much entertained and 
described Tuohy and B. as " trts rigolo" which 
indeed, they were. The English were still in search 

1 68 


of new forms of alcohol and one day B. discovered 
Mandarin Curasao. It is extremely powerful stuff 
and, I think, must have some kind of dope in it as, 
at any rate, one evening B. drank a great deal of it 
and wandered off by himself No one knows what 
actually happened to him, but he returned home the 
next morning, very early, so badly damaged that he 
was hardly recognizable, and said that he had tried 
to fight the French Army, that the French Army 
had won, and that he would never touch Mandarin 
Curagao again. 

We met another Irishman in the Quarter. He 
was a journalist and spoke French as much like a 
Frenchman as any Irishman can who already speaks 
with a strong Irish accent. He had absorbed so 
much absinthe before the War that he had become 
completely paralysed. He went into a home and 
had to be taught, by slow degrees, how to use his 
limbs. He frequently went out to Montmartre and 
Les Halles. One morning he arrived at the Cafe 
Parnasse, about eight a.m., with a friend of his. 
They had been out all night and had just come from 
the markets. They had some dice with them and 
decided to toss up for the possession of the next per 
son who entered the cafe. The Irishman won and 
they sat and waited. There were only very few 
people who came in so early and they had to wait 
for some time, meanwhile, consoling themselves with 
a few Pernod Susie fines. After a time the door 
opened and a dark respectable-looking man entered. 
The Irishman jumped at him and screamed, " I've 
won you! I've won you! You're mine! " The man 



turned out to be a Spaniard and, when the situation 
was explained to him, he quite appreciated the joke 
and they all continued to drink together. I re 
mained with them for a short time, but realized that 
if I stayed very long an ambulance would have to be 
sent for to carry me home to my Pole, who did not 
appreciate the eccentric behaviour of the Anglo- 
Saxons. The Irishman was very strange and 
secretive about himself. He often hinted at the 
unusual way in which he earned his living. We 
knew that he was a journalist, but nothing at all 
about the paper or papers he worked for. One day 
I was with the War correspondent, Donohue, who 
is now dead, and two other men. The Irishman 
hurried past us. I said afterwards to him, " Why 
on earth did you run away from us like that/ 3 He 
said, " Those men know all about me." Eventually 
we discovered that his great and terrible secret was 
that he was on the advertising staff of a very well 
known English newspaper. He was extremely good 
at his job, and went all over Europe interviewing 
Lord Mayors and important business men. When 
he found out that nobody except himself seemed to 
consider it a bore, and an undignified way of earning 
one's living, he became quite calm. As far as we 
could make out he got the sack regularly once a 
week but, being apparently indispensable, was 
taken back the following day. 

One day when I was sitting in the Parnasse, 
two strange females appeared. I was sitting with 
Harrison Dowd, one of the few Americans whom 
I knew in Paris. One was Jewish and the other 



was one of the most extraordinary looking creatures 
I have ever seen. She had a whitish green face 
and ginger hair, cut short like a boy's, with a 
fringe. During the War, for a short period, I 
cut my hair in the same way in London and every 
one stared. It was no wonder, as I looked really 
terrible. This girl had very large blue eyes, which 
were rather beautiful. She had a very long body 
and rather short fat legs. They were both Ameri 
cans, and the strange-looking one had arrived from 
New York with six dollars, which was all that she 
had in the world. Dowd knew them and I was 
introduced. The strange one's name was Bernice 
Abbot. She was very shy and seemed to be only 
half conscious. She drew extremely well and 
wanted to become a sculptress. That seems to be 
the ambition of every young American girl. She 
took, later on, to photography and, I think, has 
taken some of the finest photographs especially 
of men that I have ever seen. I saw her last in 
Paris. I did not recognize her at first, she looked 
so beautiful and well-dressed. She was driving a 
smart motor-car and had had a tremendous success 
in New York. 

It was now December and we were wonder 
ing how and where we should spend Christmas. 
Christmas Eve is the great evening, and all the 
cafes and restaurants keep open all night. The 
beautiful Russian, who had been in Finland with us, 
had returned to Paris with her husband. She had 
married an American theosophist, a devotee of 
Rudolph Steiner, and I had met him with Arthur 



Ransome in London. He had a very good job in 
Paris as the European correspondent of one of the 
largest American newspapers. She had two charm 
ing children. The Dome and the Rotonde adver 
tised Christmas dinners at midnight on Christmas 
Eve. My Pole and I were very broke, and were 
delighted when my Russian friend and her husband 
asked us to dine with them at the Dome. It was 
freezing during Christmas week. Our studio had a 
large coke stove in the back room but, as it was not 
one of the kind that burns all night, we had to 
break the ice in the sink and the icicles from the tap 
each morning. One's toothbrush also had an un 
pleasant habit of freezing, and had to be thawed 
before use. On Christmas Day I received a little 
money from England. We went to the Cafe 
Parnasse, in the evening, and waited till twelve p.m. 
when we crossed over to the Dome. The whole of 
the back part of the cafe was converted into a dining- 
room with two long tables. It looked very gay and 
bright with festoons of coloured paper, and we ate 
through an enormous dinner. We got home about 
four a.m. 

New Year's Eve is a much more lively and serious 
festivity than Christmas, as Christmas is a religious 
celebration, and the New Year purely enjoyment. 
We celebrated the New Year by visiting all the 
cafes for miles around with B. and his wife. B. 
conducted, with Ortiz, a bull fight at the Parnasse. 
B. was the bull and Ortiz the picador. They very 
nearly wrecked the place and all the Spaniards 
joined in with professional interest. The ladies 



stood up on seats as the floor was entirely occupied. 
At twelve, the lights were turned off for a second and 
one kissed or was kissed by one's neighbour. In 
order to avoid disturbance it was better to be found 
at twelve p.m. sitting next to the person that one was 
supposed to be kissing. I was sitting in the wrong 
place and got into trouble because I was embraced 
by quite the wrong person. 

I had met once in London, at the Eiffel Tower, a 
few months before, a very good-looking young man, 
who had been at Oxford. He had told me that he 
was coming to Paris, and hoped to get into the 
Diplomatic Service. He spoke -French, German, 
and Italian extremely well, and suddenly arrived in 
Paris from Italy. He had a charming voice and sang 
in all three languages. He visited exhibitions with 
me, and took to wearing a large black hat, corduroy 
trousers, and black sand shoes. This I strongly dis 
approved of, as they did not suit him at all, and 
finally induced him to abandon them and wear his 
ordinary clothes. By this time I had had quite 
enough of artistic-looking people, long hair and 
shabby clothes, and was only too thankful to be seen 
about with a presentable person. Evan Morgan 
was still in Paris and knew him well. Aleister 
Crowley was there and they were very anxious to 
be introduced to him, having heard the most dread 
ful stories of his wickedness. Crowley had a temple 
in Cefalu in Sicily. He was supposed to practise 
Black Magic there, and one day a baby was said to 
have disappeared mysteriously. There was also a 
goat there. This all pointed to Black Magic, so 



people said, and the inhabitants of the village were 
frightened of him. When he came to Paris he 
stayed in the Rue Vavin at the Hotel de Blois. I 
asked him if I could bring some friends to see him 
and he asked us to come in one day before dinner 
and have some cocktails. He said that he had in 
vented a beautiful cocktail called Kubla Khan 
No. 2. He would not say what it was made of. I 
told Evan and he, I, and two young men went to 
try it out one evening. Crowley had only a small 
bedroom with a large cupboard. He opened the 
cupboard and took out a bottle of gin, a bottle of 
vermouth, and two other bottles. The last one 
was a small black bottle with an orange label on it, 
on which was written " POISON." He poured 
some liquid from the large bottles, and then from 
the black bottle he poured a few drops and shook 
the mixture up. The " POISON " I found out 
afterwards, was laudanum. I believe that it is 
supposed to be an aphrodisiac but it had no effect 
at all on any of us except Cecil Maitland, who was 
there also. After we left he rushed into the street, 
and in and out of all the caf<6s behaving in a most 
strange manner, accosting everyone he came into 
contact with. I introduced J. W. N. Sullivan to 
Crowley. They got on very well together, as they 
both were very good chess-players and very good 
mathematicians as well. I don't think that Sullivan 
was much interested in magic, but they found 
plenty to talk about. Crowley had taken to painting, 
and painted the most fantastic pictures in very bright 
colours. He painted a picture about a foot and a 



half wide, and nine inches high, of a man on a white 
horse chasing a lion. It was very interesting, a 
little like the Douanier Rousseau; it had a great 
deal of life and action. I would have liked to have 
bought it, but I was very broke, and he wanted a 
high price for it. He gave me a painting, on a 
mahogany panel, of a purple negress, with a yellow 
and red spotted handkerchief round her head, and 
a purple rhinoceros surrounded by oriental vegeta 
tion. The rhinoceros had got rather mixed up with 
the vegetation, and it was rather difficult to distin 
guish between the trunks of the trees and the 
animal's anatomy; it was quite a beautiful colour 
however. His wife arrived from Cefalu. She was a 
tall, gaunt Jewess, very thin and bony, with a 
strangely-attractive face and wild eyes. She had 
been a schoolmistress in New York. She had had a 
child by Crowley which had died, and Crowley was 
very much upset about it. He showed me a photo 
graph of himself and her and some children standing 
up to their knees in the sea, with no clothes on. I got 
on very well with them. They were very anxious for 
me to go to Cefalu. I did not care for the type of 
person who clung round Crowley. They seemed so 
very inferior to him and so dull and boring that I 
could never understand how he could put up with 

Betty May, whom I had known in London in 
1914, with Basil, arrived in Paris one day. She 
had been one of Epstein's models and one of the 
principal supports, with Lilian Shelley, of the Crab 
Tree Club, which was started in 1913. I only went 


to it once with Basil in 1914. Betty had married 
recently her fourth husband, a most brilliant young 
man called Raoul Loveday, who was only twenty 
and had got a first in history at Oxford. He was 
very good-looking, but looked half dead. She was 
delighted to meet me and we all sat in the Dome 
and drank. They were on their way to Cefalu as 
Crowley had offered him a job as his secretary. He 
was very much intrigued with Growley's views on 
magic. He had been very ill the year before and 
had had a serious operation. I had heard that the 
climate at Cefalu was terrible; heat, mosquitoes, 
and very bad food. The magical training I already 
knew was very arduous. I urged them not to go. 
I succeeded in keeping them in Paris two days 
longer than they intended, but they were deter 
mined to go and I was powerless to prevent them. 
I told Raoul that if he went he would die, and really 
felt a horrible feeling of gloom when I said cc Good 
bye " to them. After five months I had a postcard 
from Betty on which was written, " My husband 
died last Friday; meet me at the Gare de Lyon." 
I could not meet her as I got the postcard a day too 
late and she went straight through to London. He 
died of fever. There were no doctors at Cefalu and 
one had to be got from Palermo, but it was too late 
when he arrived. There is a long and very interest 
ing description of life in Cefalu in Tiger Woman, 
Betty May's life story, but not half so good as the 
way in which she told me the story herself. 

Cecil Maitland and Mary Butts were very much 
interested in Crowley and went to Cefalu. Everyone 



in the temple had to write their diary every day 
and everyone else was allowed to read it. The 
climate and the bad food nearly killed Cecil and 
Mary, and when they carne back to Paris they looked 
like two ghosts and were hardly recognizable. 

Growley came to Paris from time to time. He 
gave the appearance of being quite bald, with the ex 
ception of a small bunch of hairs on top of his head, 
which he twiddled into a point. He shaved the 
back of his head and appeared entirely bald. One 
fete day I was sitting at the Rotonde and a most 
extraordinary spectacle appeared. It wore a mag 
nificent and very expensive grey velours hat. 
Underneath, sticking out on each side was a mop 
of black frizzy hair and the face was heavily and 
very badly painted. This I recognized as Growley. 
He said, " I am going to Montmartre and I don't 
know of any suitable cafes to visit/ 3 I could not 
think of any where he would not cause a sensation, 
but I suspected that that was exactly what he 
wanted. I told him the names of a few suitable 
places and he disappeared. I never saw him in this 
disguise again and did not dare enquire whether he 
had a successful evening or not. He appeared some 
times in a kilt and got howled down by the Ameri 
cans, who were rude enough to sing Harry Lauder's 
songs at him. He had a passion for dressing up. 
One day the Countess A., a Frenchwoman, asked 
me to lunch. I had been to her home several times 
before and we were becoming very friendly. She 
spoke excellent English and had heard about 
Crowley, She was most anxious to meet him. I 



refused to introduce him to her as she had been very 
kind to me and I knew how fond Crowley was of 
pulling the legs of people whom he suspected of 
being rich and influential. It was a curious kink that 
he had which had lost him many opportunities and 
people that would have been useful and friendly 
to him. It was a kind of schoolboy perversity. A 
friend of mine introduced him to her and she asked 
him to her house to lunch to meet some distin 
guished and rich women who were longing to have 
their horoscopes read. I was not at the luncheon 
party, but Crowley, I heard, had a great success and 
told them all kinds of things about themselves that 
they were dying to hear. He looked at the Countess 
and said, " I have met you in another life." She 
was naturally very intrigued and asked him when 
and where, and he said that, in fact, he had written a 
story about her that had been published and that he 
would send her a copy. This he eventually did and 
to her horror when she read it, it was a perfectly 
monstrous story, about a perfectly monstrous and 
disreputable old woman bearing, of course, no re 
semblance to her. She was naturally furious and 
refused to see him again. One evening, before the 
unfortunate incident took place, a man whom we all 
knew, asked us to come to his flat and try a little 
hashish. I had never tried any, but only a few days 
before, the Irish journalist whom I knew, had told 
me about his experiences when he had tried some. 
It is not a habit-forming drug and does not do any 
one much harm. The Irishman went to see some 
friends one day and they gave him some. I believe 



that one loses all sense of time and space. It takes 
about a hundred years to cross quite a narrow street 
and, as Maurice Richardson pointed out when I 
told him the story, probably a hundred years to 
order a drink. The first effect is a violent attack of 
giggles. One screams with laughter for no reason 
whatever, even at a fly walking on the ceiling. The 
Irishman went through all the stages and finally 
decided to go home. He had to walk across Paris 
and cross the river by Notre Dame. When he 
reached it he found that it was at least a mile high, 
and, giving it one despairing look, sat down on the 
quays to wait till its size had diminished. He had 
to wait for some time, but finally he decided that it 
had grown small enough for him to continue his 
walk home. The Countess had asked Crowley to 
dinner, and he appeared in what he considered to be 
suitable evening clothes. He wore black silk knee 
breeches, a tight-fitting black coat, black silk stock 
ings, and shoes with buckles on them. The coat had 
a high black collar with a narrow white strip at the 
top. On his chest he wore a jewelled order and at 
his side he carried a sword. I asked him what the 
order was. He said, " The Order of the Holy Ghost, 
my dear." We went to our friend's fiat after dinner. 
He had a large pot on the floor which contained 
hashish in the form of jam. On the table were some 
pipes, as one smoked or ate it, or did both. I tasted 
a spoonful, swallowed it, and waited, but nothing 
happened. The others got to work seriously and 
smoked and ate the jam. I felt no effect except that 
I was very happy, much more happy than if I had 



drunk anything. I sat on a chair and grinned. 
The others entered the giggling stage. This was for 
me a most awful bore as I could not say a word of 
any kind without them roaring with laughter. I 
got so bored that I went home to my Pole. Growley 
eventually returned to Cefalu, taking his wife with 
him, and so we had no more Kubla Khan No, 2. 

There was a charming Frenchman who visited 
the quarter. He wore a black hat and had curly 
black hair which was going grey. He was a very 
important person at the Prefecture of Police. He 
was a great friend of all the artists in Montparnasse 
and bought many pictures from the Polish picture- 
dealer. He had several very fine Modiglianis. He 
sang old French songs very beautifully, including 
one which had been the favourite song of Henry the 
Fourth. It was a most charming song and I wish 
that I had learnt it. One day I had to visit the 
Prefecture of Police about my carte (Tidentite. He 
had told me that if I wanted any help to come and 
see him in his office. I went one morning and 
mentioned his name. I was shown to the office by 
several policemen, who were very polite. The door 
was opened and, sitting at a desk, was Monsieur S, 
looking very unlike a Chief of Police. The walls 
were covered from top to bottom with modern 
paintings very good ones indeed and for the 
moment I completely forgot why I had come. I 
had no wish to remember either, as I was much too 
interested in the pictures. Unfortunately he was a 
very busy man and I had to explain my difficulties 
and go away. I tried to know as few English and 

1 80 


Americans as possible, as an evening spent with the 
French or the foreign artists, who had known 
Montparnasse for years, was very much more enter 
taining. There was a big man called Ceria, with a 
large beard. He was a Frenchman from Savoy. I 
always called him Francois Premier, which pleased 
him. He painted very well, in fact I found some 
pictures of his at the Leicester Galleries the other 

Each year the Academic Colorossi gave a fancy 
dress ball. In 1920 I did not go. The result was 
that neither the Pole nor I had any sleep at all 
that night. The Academy was only divided from 
our studio by a small garden and the din was awful. 
I decided that the next party I should be there. 
Although we worked at the sketch class, and at the 
Cours libre, we rather despised the art students, 
who consisted mostly of silly Americans, French 
bourgeois, and imbecile English. Oddly enough the 
ball was entirely run by the French, in fact by the 
Professor, Bernard Naudin, a funny little man, who 
is a very famous illustrator and a great friend of the 
Fratellinis 5 , the three famous clowns from the Cirque 
Medrano. He was an admirable clown himself and 
came to the dance dressed as a comedian. He 
brought with him a wooden horse on wheels, which 
he dragged behind him on a string. Ceria came 
dressed as Edouard Manet, and he looked exactly 
like him. He wore a brown square bowler hat and 
had grown his beard in the same shape as Manet had 
worn his; he had sponge bag trousers and white 
spats. He was acting as barman and mixing the 



most deadly cocktails. The French still think that 
it is very " chic " to spend the whole night drinking 
cocktails. I knew only too well what that might 
lead to and stuck to wine. I wore my workman's 
blue trousers that Basil and I had bought for six 
francs in the Avenue du Maine in 1914.5 a sailor's 
jersey,, and espadrilles. We danced and danced, 
every kind of dance, jigs, polkas, old-fashioned 
waltzes and jazz. I met a most charming woman 
whom I had met once before. She was Polish and 
a very talented sculptress. She was very ugly, but 
with that kind of ugliness which is attractive. I sat 
on her lap and told her how much I liked her works. 
She was delighted, and we became great friends 
afterwards. She had, a few years later, a success in 
the Salon d'Automne. Naudin did some stunts 
with one of the Fratellinis, whom he had brought 
with him. We successfully chased any boring 
English or Americans away. I was permitted to 
join in the fun, as I was of the pre-War brand, and 
my Montparnasse and Apache French amused them. 
As the night wore on, I remembered more and more 
French and finally went home about five-thirty a.m. 
feeling very tired. 

One day Rupert Doone, the ballet dancer, came 
to Paris. He was then just beginning to dance. He 
was very poor and had posed for Cedric Morris and 
Dobson. He had a very fine head. He sat for the 
Academies to make a little money. I wanted to 
paint him. I did some drawings of him in my 
studio for which I paid him a little, but I could not 
afford to give him longer sittings. I introduced him 





to the Professor of Colorossi, and he gave him a 
month's sitting in the portrait class. The portrait 
class had not got a cours libre and one had to have 
criticisms from the professor. This amused me as I 
had not been taught in an art class for years. I 
started a small head which went very well. On 
Friday the Professor arrived. I have forgotten his 
name, but he is a well known exhibitor at the Spring 
Salon. He was a sweet little man with a grey beard; 
he stared at me a good deal and gave me a very good 
and true criticism. I took his advice and it turned 
into, I think, one of my best portraits. It was 
bought in 1926 at my Exhibition in London by Mr. 
Edward Marsh and is now in his collection. 

I had met at the Sitwells' house in London, a most 
charming South American. He had a large flat in 
Paris and one day came to Montparnasse, where he 
found me. He had with him Christopher Wood, 
who was staying in his flat. He was a very promising 
young painter and had been originally discovered 
by Alphonse Kahn. I found him a most charming 
young man. He had a studio near the Boulevard 
St. Germain. I dined with him and we danced at 
the Cafe de Versailles. He knew many people whom 
I had known in London and we had a very enter 
taining evening. He had models in his studio and 
asked me if I knew of any good ones. I recom 
mended Rupert Doone and brought him with me. 
We all had lunch at the studio and afterwards drew. 
I am afraid we were very cruel as we wanted a kneel 
ing position from the back and Kit tied the unfor 
tunate model to the gallery of the studio with a 



table napkin, and although the balcony was not 
very much higher than the model's throne, the 
strain on his wrists nearly killed him. We were, 
however, very satisfied with our drawings. I often 
went to the studio and drew and did some good work, 
and also had some very good food and drinks, which 
more often than not, I badly needed. The Pole 
knew a certain number of very respectable French 
and Polish bourgeois friends who came occasionally 
to have coffee at the Dome and at the Rotonde. 
One day, things were very bad indeed, and I went 
to the municipal pawnshop with a ring. There are 
no pawnshops like those in London, but only the 
State ones. I entered an enormous building in the 
Boulevard Raspail, that looked like a bank and 
waited in a queue. I was given a number and 
shown into a large room, where, to my surprise, and 
to their embarrassment, I found several of the 
French bourgeois that I knew. Conversation at 
moments like this is a little awkward, and even I 
was at a loss to know what to say. I thought that 
the situation was rather funny, but the poor things 
were only disturbed. We all sat on benches and, at 
a little office at the side, our numbers were called 
out, and at the same time an offer of the price that 
they were prepared to give. This really was most 
humiliating and nearly always disappointing. I 
waited my turn and suddenly my number was 
called out, " Number 12, thirty francs." Everyone's 
head turned in my direction and, with a strange 
feeling in my throat, I said " Out" On another 
occasion my Pole and another Pole went to pawn a 



piece of jewellery which had been in before for 
seventy francs. It had been redeemed and had to 
go back again. They were given a number and 
waited their turn. Suddenly the man in the office 
called their number: " Number 5, eighty francs/ 3 
and they were so delighted and astonished that they 
both screamed " Out " together in such a loud voice 
that everyone stared. 

One day I received a letter from my elderly 
Canadian cousin, the one who had lived at my 
Grandmother's flat and thought that I had gone to 
the devil, when I abandoned corsets at the age of 
seventeen. I had not seen her for some years. She 
was living with another elderly lady in a pension 
near the Luxembourg Gardens. I went to lunch 
with them. The pension was one of the dreariest 
that I have ever entered. It reminded me of 
Balzac's Eugenie Grandet. We sat at a long table. 
My cousin and her friend drank water. Bottles, 
with table napkins tied round their necks, and names 
on the labels, were placed on the table belonging to 
the French. I drank water and had an abominable 
lunch. After lunch my cousin handed me two 
one pound notes. I was getting very bored with the 
ladies and had an inspiration. I said that I had just 
remembered an important engagement at three 
p.m. at my studio with a picture-dealer. I arranged 
to meet them at a teashop in Montparnasse later. 
I took a taxi and went to the nearest exchange, 
which was in Montparnasse, where I received quite 
a respectable number of francs. I went to the 
Parnasse Cafe, where I bought the boys and girls 



drinks, much to their astonishment and delight. 
I had some also, and arrived at the teashop in very 
good form. In Paris teashops wine is sold and 
generally spirits. It was a very cold day and I told 
my cousin and her friend that rum was a very good 
thing to prevent people from catching cold. I 
ordered them two hot rums, and they were so 
pleased that I ordered them two more. They were 
quite lively and almost human, and I sent them 
back to their dreary pension feeling very happy. 
They had a curious existence, these women, they 
refused to learn a word of French, and became 
furious with the French servants because they could 
not understand what they were talking about. 
Their whole lives consisted of economizing. They 
had apparently no ambitions of any kind. They 
had wasted all their youth, having been taught when 
young that it was only necessary to behave like 
ladies and wait till a suitable, and preferably rich 
husband, turned up. Of course, the husband never 
did turn up. I often wondered what would become 
of them if they were suddenly to lose all their money. 
They toured Europe and wintered at Hyeres, 
Beaulieu, and Bordighera, where they stayed in 
pensions, with elderly Colonels, Generals, and old 
women, w r ho were as bored with life and each other 
as they were. Everyone that I know has at least 
three or four relatives exactly like mine. They re 
minded me of my Grandmother, who, for quite 
thirty years, had patiently awaited death. Anyway, 
they had given me two pounds and my feelings 
towards them were of the kindliest. 


I met, about this time. Ford Madox Ford. I 
had read his books and admired them very much. 
He talked a great deal and so well that nobody else 
wanted to, or felt that they could, say anything 
interesting. He told stories very well indeed. He 
had most amusing stories about the time that he was 
in the Welsh Regiment. He learnt to speak Welsh, 
as many of the soldiers could not speak English. 
He and Stella bought some of my drawings and 
were very kind to me. I met Gertrude Stein at his 
house. I had been taken to her studio once in 1914 
by Charles Winzer to see her pictures. She was one 
of the first people to discover Picasso and had a fine 
collection of his early blue-and-pink pictures. She 
had a magnificent portrait of herself by him. She 
was, when I met her again, writing her book, the 
Making of Americans. I never read the whole of it, 
but read parts of it in the Transatlantic Review, which 
Ford published later in Paris. I read one chapter 
on marriage, which I thought a very remarkable 
piece of writing, and hope to read the whole book 
one day. I spent in Paris, afterwards, every Christ 
mas Day, with Ford and Stella. We had Christmas 
lunch in the Boulevard Montparnasse, at a restaurant 
called, " Le Mgre de Toulouse'' Ford had a small 
daughter, and in the afternoon there was a children's 
tea-party, with a Christmas tree and a real Father 
Christmas. Ford dressed up as le phe Noel. He 
looked magnificent as he was very tall. He wore a 
red cloak with cotton wool representing fur, and a 
red hood, and large white beard. He appeared 
with a large sack and spoke French, as nearly all the 

1 88 


children spoke French better than they spoke 
English, and Ford's child did not speak English at 
all. Gertrude Stein nearly always came. These 
occasions were the only ones when I ever had a 
chance of talking to her; she was very interesting 
to listen to, but I always ended by getting into an 
awful state of nerves. She wore in the winter thick 
grey woollen stockings and Greek sandals. The 
stockings had a separate place for the big toe, as the 
sandals had a piece of leather which went between 
the big toe and the other four toes. She sat with 
her legs crossed, and the sandal on the crossed leg 
dangled and swung from her big toe, to and fro; 
it never stopped swinging for an instant and ended 
by nearly driving me mad. The grown-up people 
drank punch and vermouth, and played snapdragon 
with the children. I did not like children very 
much, so sat by the punch -bowl and talked to 
Gertrude Stein. She used to drive about Paris in a 
very small and old-fashioned motor-car with a 
woman friend of hers. Ford gave me a copy of his 
book, Some Do Not, with an inscription inside, on 
Christmas Day in 1925. Stella painted very well in 
a very precise and accomplished manner. She did 
an excellent portrait of Ford asleep. Ford was not 
too pleased, because she caught him when he had 
fallen asleep and was snoring with his mouth open. 
She said that he posed much better when he was 

One day Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell came 
to see me. I asked them if they would like to 
come to Brancusi's studio. We went in the after- 



noon and knocked on the door. Inside we heard a 
noise of approaching footsteps and Brancusi, dressed 
in overalls, with wooden sabots on, opened the door. 
He showed us all his work and his photographs, 
including the Princess., We left after about an hour, 
all covered in dust, as one cannot sit down in a 
sculptor's studio without getting covered in plaster 
and clay. Willie Walton was also in Paris, and we 
all dined together that evening. Osbert said that 
he would like me to meet a friend of his. Sir Coleridge 
Kennard, who would like to meet Cocteau and 
Radiguet. Sir Coleridge had a Rolls-Royce, and 
Osbert said that if I arranged a day they would 
come to the studio and fetch me. I put on my 
best clothes and waited, hoping to impress the 
neighbours, and especially my concierge. I waited 
behind the front door, but to my bitter disappoint 
ment they came in an old and very shaky taxi. 
We went to the Rue d'Anjou, the house of Madame 
Cocteau, Jean's Mother, where he had some rooms 
to himself. We were shown into a very large room 
which was filled with all kinds of amusing and 
wonderful things. On the wall was a portrait of 
him by Marie Laurencin. A bust of Radiguet, by 
Jacques Lipschitz, which was very good. A portrait 
of Cocteau by Jacques Emile Blanche, one by Derain, 
drawings of Picasso, a glass ship in a case, and on 
the wall by the fireplace, a most wonderful photo 
graph of Arthur Rimbaud, looking like an angel, 
that I had never seen before. Cocteau went to a 
cupboard that was filled with drawers and, out of 
each drawer, produced a drawing or a painting of 



himself by, I think,, nearly every celebrated artist in 
France. We had tea and everyone talked a great 
deal. I had been taken by Marie Beerbohm to a 
restaurant in the Rue Duphot, called, La Cigogne, 
and was kept by Moise, an Alsatian, and specialized 
in foie gras de Strasbourg and hock. Lady Cunard, 
Stravinsky and all " Les Six " went there very 
often and, after dinner, they played the piano 
and danced. I did not know Lady Gunard at 
this time but I knew her daughter Nancy, whom 
I had met in London. Jean Cocteau and Raymond 
Radiguet dined there every night. It was a very 
nice, warm, and comfortable place and the foie gras 
was perfect. One day I met a friend of B.'s, who 
had been at Oxford. He introduced me to a tall 
and very good-looking young man, who was a 
great athlete, and had been the champion long- 
jumper of Oxford. He was six feet-four and asked 
me out to dinner. He spoke French very well, 
which is always a great help in Paris, and saved 
me the trouble of talking to the waiters. I sug 
gested that we should eat at the Cigogne. As 
we got out of our taxi we saw Jean Gocteau also 
getting out of a taxi. I said, " I would like you 
to meet my friend, who is an athlete." Cocteau 
said, " Enchanti; f adore Us athletes" My friend 
and I had dinner and Cocteau joined us afterwards 
for coffee. We had a very amusing conversation, 
as Cocteau can talk marvellously and is not at 
all a snob and will talk brilliantly to anyone whom 
he finds sympathetic. I asked the athlete if I 
could paint his portrait. He lived in a very small 


room behind the Pantheon, It was in the next 
street to a street filled with Bal Musettes and in a 
very low quarter. This I thought very chic and also 
very economical. I went to his place and painted 
his portrait. He sat every morning at a table with 
his hand on a book and a pipe beside him. I liked 
him very much but found him rather boring after a 
time. I went out with him and danced. He danced 
beautifully and was nice and tall. He made great 
friends with Cocteau, who adored Englishmen. 
The English are still very highly considered by the 
French. Principally, I think, because of what 
Baudelaire said about their clothes. I saw Radiguet 
often with Gocteau. He was a most charming boy 
and spoke the most beautiful French that I have ever 
heard spoken. He also spoke very slowly and dis 
tinctly. He had white, regular teeth and greenish- 
grey eyes, which were of a very fine shape. His 
father was a very good draughtsman and worked 
for a French paper. The best draughtsmen in 
France, and there are many good ones, are very 
badly paid and he was very poor/ He had three 
other children and Raymond was the eldest. 
Cocteau had met him and thought that he was very 
talented and Radiguet had become a protege of his. 
I think, at the time I met him, he was nineteen or 
twenty. I met also, about this time, for my memory 
is not quite exact about dates, Georges Duthuit, 
who afterwards married the daughter of Henri 
Matisse. Georges was very tall and very good- 
looking and had lived at Oxford. He spoke extremely 
good English and had large blue eyes. 



Cocteau told me that he and Moi'se were opening 
a new night club and cafe in the Rue Boissy d'Anglas, 
near the Rond Point, I saw Cocteau quite often 
and met Erik Satie with him. Satie was a divine 
old gentleman with a most malicious tongue and 
diabolic face. We got on very well and I saw him 
almost every day at the Dome. He lived at Arcueuil, 
not far from Paris. No one had ever been to see him 
except, I think, on one occasion, Jean Gocteau. I 
liked him very much as he was quite old, and when 
I was with him I always felt rather young and 
girlish. I was at this time beginning to feel rather 
old and wondered if I should not take on an attitude 
of middle age. Now and then, when feeling really 
depressed about my age, I would remember what 
my Catholic convert aunt would say to me, " Those 
that the Gods love always die young/ 3 She care 
fully explained, I was eighteen at the time, that this 
saying did not mean that one died at a youthful age 
but that one's spirit remained young when in years 
one was old. This I have found out is true as a most 
divine lady. Lady EL, died not long ago at the age 
of eighty-four, much younger in spirit than many of 
the young things of to-day, who, as far as I can see, 
have never been young at all. She had a most 
wonderful figure, the figure of a girl of twenty. 
Her face, it is true, w r as lined. I never, alas, met 
her, but I have seen her dancing until the early 
hours of the morning with all the best looking young 
men in London. Satie had been a contemporary 
of Debussy's and of Alphonse Allais, whose works 
nobody in England has, as far as I can make out, 



ever heard of. Allais was the first man to start the 
fun and nonsense school of French literature and 
was the man who said that " Mont Blanc a Fair tres 
vieuxpour son dge" He also visited a French landlady 
with a view of hiring a room. The landlady showed 
him over her hotel, and, after having visited all the 
rooms he said, " Madame est-ce que ily a des purtaises? " 
The landlady was horrified and said, " Mais non, 
Monsieur, mon hotel est tout a fait propre! " And 
Allais said, " Madame, queldommage, autrement f aurais 
pris une chambre toute de suite" Satie always carried 
an umbrella, it was known as Le parapluie celebre. 
I never saw him open it, but he always carried it. 
After his funeral, to which I went and which I will 
describe later, there was a sale of his possessions, and 
I met Sauguet, the composer of the Russian ballet, 
The Cat, in London. He told me that he had been 
to the sale and I asked him who bought the um 
brella. He said that there were twenty umbrellas 
and that he had bought fifteen. 

Moise and Cocteau told me that they had ar 
ranged the date for the opening of their new cafe 
and restaurant, which was to be called, " Le Boeuf 
sur le Toit" Marie Beerbohm saw Cocteau and 
Radiguet quite often, and I was generally there too. 
Radiguet adored Marie. Cocteau made us laugh 
the whole time. We were talking of ghosts one 
evening and Cocteau told us a beautiful ghost 
story. There was a man one day waiting at the 
Gare du Nord for a train and a man walked past 
him whom he had not seen for years. He said 
to the man, " Hullo, M., I thought you were 



dead/ 5 and M. said, " Do you believe in ghosts? " 
And the man who was waiting for the train said, 
" Of course not." And M. said, cc Well, I do," and 
vanished into space! Some years afterwards I met 
a ghost at Juan les Pins, and a very unpleasant one 
too. I will describe this later. 

I made friends with a young French lawyer. He 
did not speak any English and as a result of talking 
to him my French improved. I introduced him to 
Raymond Radiguet and he asked us both to dine 
with him. The lawyer was only twenty-two and 
quite amusing to talk to. At the age of fifteen he 
had apparently become a cocaine fiend, but had 
broken himself of the habit. We had a long and 
complicated dinner, cocktails, red and white wine, 
and ended by each smoking a very large cigar, to 
the astonishment of the other diners, who looked at 
us as if they thought we might all suddenly be sick. 

A friend of mine, a very nice Spaniard, came to 
Paris. He had been at Oxford and spoke perfect 
English. He took me out to dinner at the RitZ', 
and we told each other our adventures during 
the past two or three years. He was one of those 
very pleasant people who take the trouble to 
entertain their guests. So many people expect 
to be entertained the whole time. We both had 
a great deal to talk about and had a very amusing 
evening. I asked him if he would care to come 
with me one evening to the Boeuf. Cocteau had 
told me that one evening, some days before the 
official opening he and some friends would be there. 
I dined with the Spaniard at the Swedish Restaurant 



in Montparnasse and we went to the Rue Boissy 
cTAnglas about eleven o'clock. We found there 
Marie Beerbohm, Picasso, Madame Picasso, Marie 
Laurencin, Cocteau, Moise, Radiguet and Brancusi. 
They were drinking champagne and we joined 
them. In front of the entrance was a wooden 
screen, one of the kind that will roll up, and everyone 
was much intrigued with, and decided to experi 
ment with it. The Spaniard put it on the floor and 
rolled himself up in it, much to the delight of the 
company. He rolled and rolled on the floor. Some 
times we caught glimpses of him and sometimes he 
was entirely entwined with the screen. The evening 
was an enormous success and I left for Montparnasse 
with Brancusi and Radiguet, who had on a dinner- 
jacket. Brancusi lived near Montparnasse and said 
that he would see me home. We arrived at the 
Dome at five minutes to two, just in time to buy 
some cigarettes. Brancusi had an inspiration. He 
said to Radiguet and me, " Let us go to Marseilles 
now/ 5 I 5 being very stupid, said that I must go 
home. I did not really think that he meant it and 
went home to my Pole, Brancusi and Radiguet, the 
latter still in his dinner-jacket, took a train for 
Marseilles a few hours later, without baggage, just 
as they were. On the way to Marseilles they decided 
that, being once started, they might as well go on to 
Corsica. When they arrived at Marseilles Radiguet 
bought some clothes from a sailor's shop and they 
took the boat for Corsica. They remained there for 
two weeks . I have never regretted anything so much 
in my life as not having gone with them. The only 



other thing that I regret was having married Edgar. 
Anything else that I have done does not seem to 

Some nights after was the official opening of the 
Boeuf sur le Toit. I was taken by the athlete. We 
dined at a restaurant near the Madeleine and went 
there about eleven-thirty. Cocteau, whom I had 
last seen at the unofficial opening, showed me a 
telegram which was from Corsica and from Brancusi 
and Radiguet. It said that they were having a 
splendid time and would return to Paris perhaps 
soon and perhaps not. Cocteau was much dis 
turbed at the complete disappearance of Radiguet. 
We talked about it for a short time and came to the 
conclusion that he would be quite safe in Brancusfs 
care. They returned a few days later, having had a 
wonderful time with the peasants and the Corsican 
brandy. When members of the pre~War School of 
Montparnasse went out " on the bust " they did 
things in the pre-War style. It is a much better way, 
I think, than going out for two or three evenings a 
week. When once they started and that was not 
very often, as they usually worked very hard, they 
continued for days, and sometimes, if the money 
held out for weeks. On one occasion, during the 
fourteenth of July celebrations, Brancusi and Braque, 
the Cubist, painted their faces in Cubist designs, 
in red, blue, and white. I did, alas, not see them, 
but I am told that they looked really fantastic. 
They began by walking up the Boulevard St. 
Michel. Everyone was so startled at their odd 
appearance that they ran away in terror. They 



stayed out three days and three nights and finally 
ended in Les Halles. That is what I was told, and it 
is quite possible that, after Les Halles, they took the 
train to Chartres. The cathedral of Chartres and 
the Palace of Versailles were two very popular 
places for people who had been out for some days. 
They seemed to have, especially Chartres, a curious 
calming and soothing influence on them. I dined 
often at the Boeuf sur le Toit, with Marie. It 
was quite a small place with one room only. The 
walls were quite plain with one or two photographs 
of Stravinsky, Picasso, and Cocteau. At the end of 
the room was a high bar with chairs where the 
drinks were a little cheaper and were produced more 
rapidly than if one was sitting down. All kinds of 
celebrities were to be found there and, at any rate, 
the first year it was a most amusing and interesting 
place. Moise was a most charming man. He was, 
of course, Jewish, but was very tall and fair and I 
would not have known it if I had not known his 
name. It was here that I met Erik Satie. He did 
not stay often in Paris for the evening, but when he 
did he brightened up any place that he was in and 
was most witty and amusing. Les Six had published 
a small pink paper. It was not in the form of a book 
but a large sheet which folded up. In this were 
published various remarks of Satie; for instance, 
written sideways round the edge of the paper was 
" Monsieur Ravel a refusi la Ugion (Thonneur, mais toute 
sa musique Vaccepte" Ravel had been offered the 
Legion of Honour and had refused it. Satie simply 
could not resist an opportunity to be witty and, 



more often than not, very " catty. 35 There was 
another remark of his that I thought very funny: 
cc Quand fetais jeune tout le monde m j a dit, c Quandvous 
aurez cinquante ans, vous verrez> maintenantfai cinquante 
ans etje rfai rien vu* " I had some copies of this paper 
which, unfortunately, I have lost. At the beginning 
of the Boeuf there were hardly any English or 
Americans. Mo'ise, I, Nancy Cunard, Iris Tree, 
Evan Morgan, Tommy Earp and a few others, but 
no tourists at all. Later on it became filled with 
dreary and rich Americans, who simply got drunk 
and either fought or fell asleep. 

Tommy Earp was still rich and gave us a wonder 
ful time. He seldom said, " Will you dine on 
Friday, or lunch on Wednesday," but would arrive 
at the Parnasse and suddenly ask, " Will you have 
a small dinner with me? " The dinner nearly 
always ended at seven-thirty a.m. in the markets. 
On one occasion we took a taxi to Montmartre to a 
restaurant in the Rue des Martyrs called UAne 
Rouge. It is a very expensive restaurant and 
frequented almost entirely by French people. A 
band played special tunes that Tommy called for 
and we had a really stupendous dinner with white 
wine, not champagne, but much better and nicer. 
Tommy said that the night was too young to start 
on champagne. After dinner we started out to 
" do " Montmartre. We went to the Savoy and 
ordered a bottle of champagne. This one has to do 
in any case. The champagne in these night clubs is 
mostly sweet and horribly expensive. The sweet 
kind is really more drinkable than the sec, which 



tastes like vinegar. There were lady dance partners 
of all ages and sizes. There was one very fat lady, 
far from young, dressed, or rather c "upholstered " 
in red velvet. As I was very thin, Tommy thought 
it would look very funny to see her dancing with me 
and called her over. The lady was delighted and, 
much to my embarrassment seized me round the 
waist and whirled me round and round. Tommy 
handed her twenty francs and insisted on her 
repeating the process. I was becoming really 
exhausted and we asked her to join us in some wine. 
She sat down and entertained us with the story of 
her life, which was much the same as that of any 
other lady in any other night club. We then went to 
La Pigalle, which is, I think, the gayest and most 
lively of all the Boites. There people seem to be 
really enjoying themselves and, at most of the other 
places, the gaiety seems to be forced. Paper 
streamers were being thrown about, and little 
muslin bags, containing coloured cotton-wool balls, 
were handed to us to throw at our neighbours. In 
the middle of the room was a table, and, sitting at it, 
I recognized Little Tich. I was thrilled, as I had 
seen him on the stage but never in real life. It was 
impossible not to recognize him. In front of him 
was a bottle of champagne in a bucket, and Tommy 
and I pelted him with our stock of ammunition. I 
hit him on the head twice, which I don't think he 
liked much. I was a very good shot as I had learnt 
the accomplishment of throwing straight from the 
bathing-machine boys in Tenby. The third time 
I hit the bottle of champagne, which was apparently 



empty, as It rolled round the ice bucket and made a 
clattering noise. We thought that Little Tich had 
had enough attention and devoted our time to trying 
to hit a fat blonde. After a time we got tired of 
Pigalle's and decided to move on. Tommy's pet 
place was La Perle, in the Rue Pigalle, quite 
close to the Pigalle. We went to see Angele, an 
incredible old woman, who must have been a great 
beauty in her youth. At the door was a small page 
boy dressed in red with brass buttons. We found 
Angele, who was dressed in a magnificent evening 
dress of corded purple silk. She was very fat and the 
dress was very low. When she leant over the table 
the front displayed to view a very fat paunch. She 
was delighted to see us and bought us a bottle of 
champagne. Suddenly a row started between one 
of the ladies, a very tall, fat one, and the page-boy. 
They had a battle and finally fell on to the floor and 
rolled over and over. This was a really funny sight 
and I wish I had been able to do a drawing of it. 
It was now about two a.m. and we thought that we 
would see if the " Boeuf " was still open. We wan 
dered down a side street in search of a taxi. The 
street was very dark, there appeared to be no street 
lamps at all. We saw a dark shadow which turned 
out to be a taxi, and, standing beside it, was an 
upright form, completely black. On our approach 
ing it we found that it was a negro chauffeur. At 
this time " Batouala " was having an enormous 
success and we had the brilliant idea of hiring the 
chauffeur and bringing him to the Boeuf and intro 
ducing him as Batouala himself. We took his taxi, 



but unfortunately lost our nerve when we arrived. 
The Boeuf was very lively indeed and I danced and 
Tommy talked for some hours. We then went to 
Les Halles and had supper or breakfast or both, 
and some white wine, and returned to Mont- 
parnasse about eight a.m. At the Dome, having 
breakfast, was Sisley Huddleston, who Tommy in 
troduced me to. He was perfectly charming. I 
think I fell asleep shortly after, but no one seemed 
to mind. I eventually woke up feeling rather ill and 
went home -to bed. 

I had done a good many water-colours and 
thought that it was time that I had an exhibition 
in London. I wrote to Mr. Turner of the Independ 
ent Galleries, and he said that I might have one 
in the autumn. As it was the middle of summer I 
decided to go to London almost at once. Tommy 
had already gone back and was living in his flat in 
Regent Square. My friend, who wanted to get into 
the Diplomatic Service and who sat for me, was 
going back to England and said that if I cared to go 
back the same day on which he did, he would pay 
the extra fare for me to go first-class Calais-Dover, 
rather than third-class Dieppe-Newhaven, the way 
that I always went. I was delighted, The train 
was packed. On the boat was a French Diplomatic 
Mission, I think, with Monsieur Briand; any way, 
there were glorious creatures in uniforms and 
covered in medals. The boat was packed and we 
had to sit on the deck on some life-buoy boxes and 
dangle our legs. Suddenly the most handsome and 
magnificent officer came up and shook my friend 



by the hand. He was some important diplomat's 
aide-de-camp, and was covered with medals of all 


kinds and gold braid. I was introduced to him and 

we became the centre of interest of all the old ladies 

and gentlemen. My friends still had my flat in 



Great James Street and I thought that I would stay 
there. When I got there I found that they had gone 
away and had taken the key with them. I went to 
the Eiffel Tower where I found Tommy Earp. 
Tommy said that he had a spare room at Regent 
Square and I could stay there until I could get my 
key from my friends. I had dinner at the Eiffel and 
we decided to call on the way back to Regent 
Square, on a friend of ours who lived in Bedford 
Square. We rang her up and she asked us to come 
and see her. When we arrived she unfolded a tragic 
story. Her father had gone away that morning 
leaving a very old mahogany box in the drawing- 
room, containing bottles of brandy and wine, but 
the key could not be found. We all gazed at this 
very solid looking box, with its iron lock and enor 
mous keyhole. Silently Tommy took the poker, I 
took a corkscrew, our hostess took a nail file, and 
another girl took a fork and got seriously to work on 
the box. We wrenched and dug and poked furiously 
for about ten minutes with no success at all. Finally, 
Tommy attacked the hinge with the poker and it 
showed signs of opening but, alas! the box lifted 
from the ground and then dropped down with a 
thud and a dreadful noise of smashing glass. Out 
of it poured a long river of red liquid. Tommy, with 
great presence of mind, seized a tumbler and held 
it between the lid and the box. He filled the glass. 
From another portion of the box a small stream 
trickled along the parquet floor and made rivulets, 
which formed into a small lake. This was all very 
disheartening. We shared the glass. It tasted like 



brandy, red wine, and mahogany. Later on our 
friend went out to replace the bottles. She bought 
whisky and red wine. Next morning she found 
the key of the box in an envelope addressed to 
her brother in the hall. The bottles did not con 
tain whisky but brandy. After this disaster we 
went to Regent Square. Some time before, the 
flat had been shared by Aldous Huxley and his wife. 
Upstairs lived two elderly ladies. They made, 
sometimes in the evenings, a great deal of noise. 
The landlord was a retired vicar. Aldous wrote a 
letter complaining of the noise and asked him if he 
would be kind enough to ask the ladies to stop their 
nocturnal " bombinations "; the French slang for 
raising hell and disturbing everyone is to faire la 
bombe, and this word was an invention of his. The 
Vicar wrote a pained letter back and said that he 
was quite certain that the Misses A. were quite 
incapable of committing any kind of abomination. 
The flat was, at this time, shared by Russell Green 
and his wife. Russell had been a contemporary of 
Tommy's at Oxford. Facing the Square was a large 
room with two windows and book-cases with very 
fine books. First editions of Restoration Plays and 
all kinds of rare and interesting works. By the 
window was a telephone and in front of the fire was 
a large wicker " Oxford " armchair. Near the door 
was a divan on which Tommy slept. As I had 
travelled all day and was tired I said that I would 
like to go to bed. Tommy gave me a bottle of Bass 
to drink, if I was thirsty during the night, and went 
into the kitchen, saying that he was going to cook 



some onions. He showed me my room, which was 
at the back and facing some roofs. I had been 
foolish enough to register my luggage only as far as 
Calais and had no clothes at all except what I had 
on. I had to sleep in a very old,, short, and ragged 
chemise. About five a.m. I woke up choking. The 
room was full of smoke and smelt as if something 
was burning. I did not take this very seriously as I 
thought that Tommy had probably burnt the 
onions. I tried to sleep and suddenly there was a 
banging on the door and I heard Tommy say, 
" Don't you think that you had better get up, you 
know the house is on fire." I jumped out of bed and 
opened the door. In burst flames and smoke. The 
smoke was so thick in the passage that I could not 
breathe, and I seized a towel, which I stuffed into 
my mouth, and held my nose. I found my way 
downstairs, still in the very short chemise and, stand 
ing at the bottom of the staircase, was the vicar with 
his hat on. I found out afterwards that the reason 
that he wore his hat was that he usually wore a wig 
and during the excitement was unable to lay his 
hand on it. I felt slightly embarrassed and so, I 
think, did the Vicar. I saw an umbrella-stand and 
hat-rack and on it hung a clergyman's top coat. I 
grabbed it and put it on as, after the fiery furnace 
upstairs, I felt rather cold. Russell Green had gone 
to the nearest fire alarm and sent for the Fire 
Brigade. He came back and he and his wife and I 
took some of the clergyman's chairs and sat in a row 
just inside the front door waiting for the firemen. 
They arrived in a few minutes and laid on the hose, 



We still sat on our chairs and rested our feet on the 
hose pipe. Tommy never came down at all. He 
was upstairs in the kitchen handing the firemen 
beer. We asked them if they considered that it was 
a good fire and one fireman said, " Not 5 arf, burnt 
the 'ole bloomin' floor out. 35 We asked Tommy 
afterwards why he did not come downstairs, and 
pointed out to him the risk he was taking of being 
burnt to death. He had, apparently, not thought of 
that and explained that he objected to " Personal 
injury. 3 ' I suppose he meant fighting his way 
through the flames and smoke. The fire, fortun 
ately, did not get as far as the kitchen, although it 
raged outside. Suddenly, Russell Green remembered 
that he had left the manuscript of his novel up 
stairs and I realized that my passport was in my 
room. We took each other by the hand and went 
upstairs through the flames and smoke. He found 
his manuscript and I snatched my passport from 
the dressing-table, which I was able to feel my way 
to. It was impossible to even open one's eyes, the 
smoke was so thick. To have one's lungs filled with 
smoke is a most disagreeable feeling and I hope that 
I shall never be in another fire. Apparently it 
started by Tommy having gone to sleep, probably 
having left a lighted cigarette end on the floor. 
The whole of the floor of his room was burnt out 
before he woke up. It was only when the sleeve 
of his pyjamas became singed that he woke up. 
He was very ill for days afterwards. A great many 
of the books were destroyed, but fortunately he was 
insured. I felt awful and arrived at a friend's flat at 



about eight a.m. She said, " Where on earth have 
you been to, you smell like a smoked herring? " I 
said, " I am." I had a bath and was regaled with 
brandy as I felt very sick. 

The next day I found my friends who had my 
flat and got the latch-key and stayed there. I had 
to arrange about my show and get my water- 
colours framed. I had hardly any money and felt 
very gloomy. I could not pay for the frames so 
decided to visit a kind uncle who had a business in 
the city. He was the brother of my terrifying aunt. 
I explained my troubles and he was kind enough 
to lend me the money (I have never paid him back, 
I am ashamed to say, but I will some day) to pay 
for them. My luck was in a very bad way as the day 
my exhibition opened there was a coal strike. I 
had a good private view, that is to say, all kinds of 
people came, but all I sold during the whole show 
was one drawing for seven guineas. Nancy Cunard 
was in London. She asked me to a luncheon party 
that her mother was giving in Garlton House 
Terrace. During the morning I had arranged to 
do a drawing of Stulik, the proprietor of the Eiffel 
Tower Restaurant. I worked for several hours and 
did a drawing in pencil which, although I don't 
think a good drawing, is, at any rate, an excellent 
likeness. It occurred to me that I might as well 
take it to the luncheon party and show it to Nancy, 
as she knew Stulik so well. I arrived, feeling rather 
nervous, and left the drawing in the hall with my 
coat. The footman showed me into a drawing- 
room. I had never seen Lady Cunard before, but, 



of course, knew her at once by her resemblance to 
Nancy* She was perfectly charming and I felt at 
once at my ease. I met Lord Inchcape and Lady 
Cynthia Asquith and then Aldous Huxley, the Sit- 
wells and several other people came in. I sat next 
Lord Inchcape at luncheon and was rather fright 
ened, but Lady Cunard is such a wonderful hostess 
that no one could possibly feel nervous for more 
than a second. After luncheon she sat beside me 
and asked me what work I had been doing. I said 
that I had spent the morning drawing Stulik and 
she said how much she would like to see it. I said 
that I had got it with me. I fetched it from the hall 
and they all liked it very much. Lady Cunard 
asked me if I would do a drawing of Nancy, and 
how much would I charge ? I said boldly, " Ten 
guineas/ 3 and I arranged a sitting a few days later. 
I did, I think, quite a good drawing and got my 
cheque the next morning. If only more patrons of 
art would treat artists in this way we would not be 
so frequently " in the soup. 33 

I visited my exhibition every day and felt gloomier 
and gloomier. In the evening I went to the Eiffel 
Tower and wondered if I should ever get back to 
Paris. After the show closed, some kind person 
bought a small picture and I took the first train 
back to Paris. During this visit to London I had 
looked with interest at the river and the dirty streets, 
and began to think that I might be able, some day, 
to paint them. I felt, however, that I had not yet 
got all that I could from Paris and that I should 
have to stay there for still some years. I had my 



water-colours sent back to France. It is impossible 
to find out the reasons for people buying pictures. 
I had excellent criticisms and the pictures were very 
bright and gay. I have since sold them nearly all 
and destroyed a few that I did not like. It is really 
the greatest mistake to destroy one's drawings or 
paintings. The last time I was in Paris, three and 
a half years ago, I went to the studio where the 
Pole still was, bought a bottle of wine, and burnt 
about fifteen oil paintings and two hundred drawings 
in a fit of rage. I have learnt a lesson since, as, not 
so very long ago, a man turned up and said that he 
would like to buy some drawings. He looked 
through dozens of drawings and finally asked me if 
I had any oil paintings. I looked in cupboards and 
in corners and found some, and at last came to a 
still-life, that I had very nearly put into the dustbin. 
I took it out and showed it to him. He gazed at it 
for some time and asked me how much I wanted for 
it. I said " twenty guineas. " He thought for some 
time and said, " I will give you fifteen guineas 
down." I said, " Yes." Having not seen it for 
s some years I realized that it was not so bad as I had 

I still lived in Modigliani's studio and painted 
portraits of any kind of odd-looking person that I 
could find. A friend of my Pole's had been to 
Marseilles and there had found a Tunisian who was 
a very tough character. He had brought him back 
to Paris to be his cook, valet, and general servant. 
He had very black eyes, in one of which was a cast. 
He wore a check cap and a blue linen suit, no collar 



and espadrilles. He would suddenly appear late at 
night at the Parnasse to fetch his master home. One 
suddenly turned round on the terrasse and saw him 
standing like a statue. I asked him if he would 
come and sit for me and one afternoon I heard a 
knock on the door. The staircase was very long 
and, as a rule,, one could hear people pounding and 
groaning up the staircase. He sat without moving. 
He was quite terrifying, as, like Landru, he never 
blinked his eyelids. I became almost hypnotized 
and had to ask him to rest about every quarter of an 
hour. I did a good painting of him, which was 
eventually accepted by the Salon d'Automne. I 
sold it the other day to Miss Ruth Baldwin, and it 
now hangs near the cocktail bar in her house in Chel 
sea. If one paints a good picture it is a little sad to 
think that one will never see it again. I am not 
actually speaking of that one, but some of mine have 
gone to America and Africa and some have been 
bought by people that I do not even know. I think 
writers are so much luckier than painters. In the 
first place it costs them nothing to write. To paint 
costs money. If one paints a good picture, even a 
very good one, it may have a success at an exhibition 
and be sold, and it is never heard of again until 
one is dead, or, perhaps not even then. If a writer 
writes a book its reputation, if it is a good one, goes 
on for years and the writer continues to get money 
for it. 

An extraordinary man came daily to the Cafe 
Parnasse. He was very tall and frequently wore a 
top-hat, a tail coat, and white spats, and carried 



over his shoulders a pair of field-glasses, and he wore 
an eyeglass. He did not seem to know anyone. 
We could not make out what his nationality was. 
He appeared to be so conceited that the Arab and 
the Pole nick-named him " Mezigue "; this is the 
argot for " I," " me. 53 " Sezigue " is the argot for 
" he/ 5 " him/ 5 just as " tezigue " is for " thou," 
" thee." One day Ortiz spoke to him and found that 
he came from Chili. His father was a merchant from 
Lancashire, who had gone to Chili and married 
there a Chilian lady. We picked him up and found 
him quite mad but very funny. He had come to Paris 
to study opera singing. We pointed out to him that 
Paris was not the place to study and that he ought 
to go to Milan. This had not occurred to him be 
fore. Later on in the evening he sang; he had a 
most wonderful voice of a very beautiful quality and 
most awfully loud. It shook the whole cafe. He 
sang us " Pagliacci " and other operas. He was, ap 
parently, quite broke and had only one other suit 
of clothes besides the top-hat. He confessed shame 
facedly to us that he earned his living by accompany 
ing Cook's tourists round Paris in a char-a-banc. 
He spoke English very well, but not so well as 
Spanish, and I asked him if he would come and sit 
for me in his top-hat. He was delighted and I 
bought a large canvas in order to paint him life- 
size. I arranged him sitting down with his legs 
crossed and holding his stick and the top-hat. In 
the background I put a Moroccan rug, which was a 
very beautiful colour; reds and blues. This rug I 
bought from one of the carpet-sellers who infest all 



continental cafes, and who will walk up and down 
in front of the terrasse selling rugs. We had one 
particular carpet-seller who also sold coats and 
necklaces and sometimes had really beautiful things 
for almost nothing. One day he was pestering a 
very drunken American and the American said, 
" Go away, I don't want any of your goddam 
stinking carpets/' and our Moroccan answered, in 
a deeply pained voice, " Sir, it is not the carpets that 
stink, it is me." In the background of my portrait 
I put my guitar and a pot of red flowers on the 
floor. The white pot, his white collar, and the 
spats were the only white spots in the picture. The 
canvas was over five feet high, and I had to work 
like the devil, even to cover it up. My Pole was 
painting in the next room and now and then came 
and gave me criticisms. He was an extremely in 
telligent man and knew a great deal more about 
painting than I did. The top-hat was indescribably 
difficult, not only the drawing, but the shadows, 
they were so intensely black. I used no black at all 
in my palette but only dark blue, and had to paint 
the rest of him in a much higher key than I would 
otherwise have done. He was a splendid model 
and very vain, and it was almost impossible to 
stop him posing when he had once begun. One 
day his Father arrived and I was asked to meet 
him. He was a charming old gentleman of seventy- 
six, but he did not look as old. He had long 
fair whiskers and dressed in a dark blue-serge suit. 
He had rather a nautical appearance. He could 
not understand why I wanted to paint his son, 



whose face certainly was not what the English 
workman would describe as an " oil painting." He 
said, "I have seven sons, this one is the best, you 
can imagine what the other six are like/' I very 
much wanted to know but I did not like to ask him. 
I sent his portrait and four others to the Salon 
d'Automne. I saw Othon Friesz, whom I knew 
quite well and who liked my work and, knowing 
that he was on the committee, asked him to look 
out for them. This is done in Paris as elsewhere. 
I received a notice, to my astonishment, to hear that 
they had all been accepted. I went to the Varnish 
ing Day and found, to my surprise, that they were 
not in Friesz's room at all. Each member of the 
committee has a special room, where he can hang 
the paintings of the people that he approves of. I 
looked round the Salon and found that all mine 
were very well placed in a group " On the line/ 3 in 
the Salle of Andre Lhote. This was very odd, as 
apparently Friesz had not. been able to find my 
pictures on the day that the committee had judged 
them, but they had been discovered by Lhote, who 
was not on speaking terms with Friesz at the time and 
he had placed them in his salle. I had met Lhote 
one day in 1920 at the Rotonde with Wassilieff, but 
I don't think he had even seen my work and cer 
tainly did not know my name, so that I considered 
that it was a great compliment I had a few press 
notices in the French papers and one in Polish that 
was very complimentary, I decided to have a 
<c One man show. 55 I had met Monsieur Lucien 
Vogel at the Boeuf sur le Toit. He had a very nice 




Gallery in the Rue St. Florentin, just behind the 
Place de la Concorde. I showed all my water- 
colours that had been in London, the ones from the 
Salon, the paintings of Gollioure, and some draw 
ings. It really looked quite nice. In Paris artists 
nearly always get a well-known critic to write a 
notice. I had made the acquaintance of a promi 
nent critic-editor who said that he would be de 
lighted to write one for me. He came up to my 
studio. The Pole hated him, he had a dreadful 
voice. He wrote to me asking me to visit his office 
he was the editor of an important art paper I 
arrived one day in the Boulevard Raspail to see his 
article. I think it mentioned my name once. It was 
a long discourse on English painting and nearly all 
about Roger Fry and P. Wyndham Lewis. He then 
demanded two thousand francs. I was furious and 
told him what I thought about him. He then told 
me what he thought of me and opened the door, 
pushed me out, and kicked the door to with his foot, 
so I had no notice. Cocteau and Radiguet came 
to the show and were most awfully nice. Gocteau 
said, as he said about anything that he appre 
ciated, that the drawings were, " Plus vrai que le 
vrai" And Radiguet said the most charming 
things: I think he had the best manners of anyone 
I have ever met. Brancusi came also and was very 
sweet. I think he thought they were too realistic, 
which, of course, they were. I sold very few, as it is 
very difficult to sell pictures in Paris if you are not 
French, and have not got a picture-dealer to back 
you. As, however, it often happens one sells more 



pictures after a show than during it, and during the 
few weeks after I did quite well. 

I visited the home of my friend the Countess quite 
often. She was very kind to me. One day she 
invited me to a dance. I had some quite good 
evening dresses that Marie and Nancy had given me 
and so, fortunately, I could go out looking quite 
respectable. I arrived about eleven p.m. There 
were mostly French people there, very chic women, 
and Miss Elsa Maxwell was playing the piano with 
great vigour. I danced a lot and when the people 
began to leave, the Countess said to me, " Don't 
leave but stay on, we will get rid of the dull respect 
able people and have some fun, avec des amis. 
Leading out of the ball-room was a small room 
where supper was laid. There were only about ten 
people remaining. Lady Michelham who, alas! is 
now dead, the Marquis de Segur, Cecile Sorel, 
Madame M., a beautiful Russian, and several others 
whose names I do not remember. I wore a most 
beautiful dress that the Countess had given me. It 
was long and straight and was covered all over with 
golden spangles, which looked like fishes 3 scales. . . . 
It fitted quite tight and exposed the lines of the 
figure to view and I was very much pleased with 
myself. The Marquis de Segur played the piano. 
He played very loudly and we pelted him with 
oranges, Cecile Sorel and myself. She was a most 
marvellous person, magnificently dressed, with a 
most interesting face. I had seen her act and was 
very much impressed with her. She was very nice 
to me. She seized a large ham and said to me. 



" Hold the bone while I carve it." I was at the 
other side of the table and grabbed the ham bone 
and pulled, as she had the fork in the ham. The 
bone was only an imitation one and came out in my 
hand and I fell over backwards. It was one of those 
very grand hams that had been filleted. She then 
grabbed me by the shoulder of my dress and said, 
" Take this off and dance." This amused me as I 
thought of WassiliefFs studio and my performances 
there, but I said nothing and did not dance. Lady 
Michelham was charming and asked me to come 
and see her at her home at Passy. I knew that she 
had the most wonderful pictures and was delighted. 
The party ended about four a.m. and I went home 
to Montparnasse. Some days later I went to see 
her. She had an enormous apartment and the foot 
man showed me into a small room leading into a 
big drawing-room. I sat and waited. There were 
cases containing the most wonderful pottery and on 
the wall the sketch for Gainsborough's cc Hay Cart/ 3 
which is in the National Gallery. The sketch I 
thought very much more beautiful than the finished 
picture. The finished picture had, unfortunately, 
been so much cleaned that half the paint had been 
removed also. Lady Michelham came in and sent 
for some cocktails. We had a long talk about life 
and gossiped about our friends. She then asked me 
if I would like to see the rest of her apartment. We 
went into a huge ball-room with a very fine Law 
rence portrait of a lady and many other splendid 
specimens of the English School. In a flat, glass 
case, in the middle of the room were the most 



wonderful jewels. There was one about an inch 
and a half long. It represented a semi-nude man. 
His torso was composed of a natural pearL The 
head had been modelled in gold but the pearl was 
so shaped that it represented perfectly the body of a 
man. I don't think he had legs but a fish's tail that 
was made of gold. There were other jewels in the 
rest of the design. The case was filled with equally 
beautiful pieces of jewellery. I said, with a gasp, 
cc Whatever are these? " As a matter of fact I had 
already guessed. Lady Michelham, whose memory 
was very bad, said, " I can't remember the man's 
name." I said, " Benvenuto Cellini," and she said, 
"Yes, that is his name." I said that I must be 
going, and she said, " Before you go my maid will 
give you a little box." I guessed that it would 
probably contain some clothes, as all my women 
friends were most thoughtful and kind and realized 
the importance of clothes, consequently I always 
looked well dressed. If one is smartly dressed, even 
if one lives in a garret, one can always ask more for 
one's pictures. The maid handed me a cardboard 
box about a foot and a half in length and a foot wide 
and three inches deep, which was so heavy that I 
could, only with difficulty, lift it. I placed it on the 
pavement outside and waited till a taxi appeared. 
"When I got it home I opened it and found four 
most splendid evening dresses. They were covered 
in beads and that was why the box was so heavy. I 
tried them on and they fitted me perfectly. They 
were long and straight and all being French models 
would, to-day, have been most fashionable. 



I had left the studio and was living in a small hotel 
in Montparnasse. I had behaved rather badly to 
the Pole and had neglected him. I found it much 
better to live by myself and to have no one to wait 
for one's arrival home. I found one day, at the 
Countess A's, Harry MelvilL She gave a cocktail 
party. Teddie Gerrard was there. I had met her 
during the War when she was in Bubbly with Con 
stance Stuart Richardson and Arthur Weigall, the 
Egyptologist, who had designed the Egyptian set 
tings. Sessue Hayakawa was also there. He was 
sitting on the floor on a small stool by the fire-place 
and I sat on a mat beside him. He was very fond of 
painting and we talked about art. He was most 
charming and very intelligent. It is such a pity that 
one never sees him now as he was such a good actor. 
Harry Melvill I had met in London just after the 
War. One day I was going to Chelsea on the top of a 
'bus and in front of me was a very smartly-dressed, 
elderly man, with a fat, rather elderly, lady. She 
looked rather like Marie Lloyd, They talked and 
laughed a great deal and I wondered what they 
were doing on a 'bus, they looked much more like 
people who would own a Rolls-Royce. A few days 
later Mr. " Bogey " Harris, whom I had met at the 
Omega Workshops with Mr. Fry, asked me to 
lunch at Treviglio's* TrevigHo's was at that time 
frequented by smart and amusing people; Lady 
Cunard went there a lot. I got there rather early 
and sat alone at a table and waited. Presently, to 
my astonishment, the elderly man I had seen on the 
'bus came in alone. He sat down and seemed to be 



waiting for someone. Mr. Harris arrived and the 
elderly man and myself both rose to our feet. I was 
introduced to Harry Melvill and we all sat down 
together and had lunch. Harry was most enter 
taining and never stopped talking. Certainly no 
one wanted him to. I did not tell him until years 
afterwards about the 'bus incident as I thought that, 
perhaps, he did not want to be seen on that occasion. 
He laughed very much when I did. During the War 
he had been the head of the passport office in Paris, 
as he was too old to join the Army, in fact he was 
much older than he looked. He died, unfortu 
nately, for all of us, last year. He was the kindest 
person imaginable. At the cocktail party he talked 
French incessantly to the French, lots of French. 
He spoke French very fluently and correctly 
but in the same way that he spoke English. Con 
sequently, unless one was close to him one thought 
that he was speaking English. I met Mrs. Reginald 
Fellowes and she asked me to dinner at her home. 
Some days later I went. I wore one of my grand 
evening dresses and some large pearl earrings and 
looked, I thought, very fine. Mrs. Fellowes had an 
enormous apartment in the Rue de Galilee. Lady 
Michelham, the Princess Murat and Lord Wim- 
borne were there and several other people. There 
were some fine Fragonards on the walls and the 
dining-room was decorated with large still-lives, 
representing pheasants and fruit and flowers. They 
were by some eighteenth-century Master and were 
very beautiful. I was rather terrified as there were 
three butlers and so many knives and forks that I 



felt myself turning pale with fright. However, after 
a glass or two of wine I regained my courage and 
did not eat my meat with a fish fork. Hugo Rumbold 
was there and he played some of his songs, including 
the Madame Tussaud song about the Chamber of 
Horrors. I sang some of my silly songs. I Wandered 
through the rooms of the apartment and found a 
large life-size painting of Nijinsky; this was by 
Jacques Emile Blanche. I thought it very fine in 
deed and the best thing of his that I have ever seen. 
I arrived home about two-thirty, feeling very much 
pleased with life and with myself. 

My friend, Marie Beerbohm, spoke to me often 
about two friends of hers, F. and R. F. was half 
French, his Mother being English, and R. was 
an American from Boston. One day at the Boeuf 
she introduced me to them. F. was one of the 
first people, with Fauconnet, the French painter 
who died, and who was a very fine artist, to discover 
the Douanier Rousseau. They had seen his pic 
tures at the Salon des Independants and had written 
him a letter beginning " Cher Maitre " and had 
bought a picture. F. was a great friend of Gocteau, 
Radiguet, Max Jacob and, in fact, had known 
everyone of interest in France for the past twenty 
years. They were both most amusing and intelli 
gent and we had a wonderful evening. Marie 
Beerbohm was as witty as all the rest of her family 
and we all laughed so much that we went home 
quite exhausted. Marie lived in a service flat 
near the Avenue Wagram. She had a room 
and a bath. This part of Paris and the Bois de 



Boulogne is very tough indeed, and it is round here 
that nearly all the criminals are found. The neigh 
bourhood from the point of view of living there is 
very respectable, but there are side streets with very 
bad cafes frequented by criminals. One evening 
I was going out to dine with Marie, and we stood 
on the doorstep we were both in evening dress 
to wait for a taxi. Suddenly she ran across the 
street and stopped a taxi and then called for me. I 
ran across and found that she was being spoken to 
by a most dreadful looking tough with a real 
criminal face. He wanted to take us off somewhere 
in the taxi. We ran quickly back to her house and 
shut the door. We then asked the concierge to fetch 
us a taxi. 

I met at the Parnasse an American who had the 
brightest, reddest hair, I had ever seen. He had 
small blue eyes, the colour of a turquoise, and a 
freckled face. He was very tall and looked as if his 
arms and legs might come unhooked at any mo 
ment. He spoke very slowly. I had not been in 
love since the incident of the Pole and immediately 
on seeing this vision with such red hair, I began to 
cc sit up and take notice/ 3 I have always liked red 
headed people of both sexes. They seem to me to 
be very much alive and very intelligent. I met him 
a few days later. We arranged to dine on the night 
of the Bal des Quatz 5 Arts. I never went, for reasons 
that I have explained before. It was too rough. I 
still saw my Pole and worked at the studio, in fact 
stayed there sometimes. During the afternoon of 
the day of the ball, Arthur Rubens tein appeared. 



He knew all the Poles In Montparnasse, who adored 
him. He arrived at the Parnasse about three in the 
afternoon. He ordered drinks all round and the 
saucers began to pile up. He explained to my 
Pole, whom I was sitting with, that he wanted to go 
to the ball and wanted to pay rather less than five 
hundred francs for his ticket. It is almost impossible 
for a man to get in who is not a student without 
having to pay an enormous sum of money. Even 
if hundreds of francs are paid,, very often people are 
thrown out, the few clothes that they have arrived 
in being torn off them. It is also necessary to know 
the name of one's supposed Professor and the 
" massier " of the class. This has to be learnt from 
memory from one of the real students. Any woman 
can get in free as they are considered the property 
of the students to do anything they like with. My 
Pole was able to obtain a ticket for fifty francs and 
then the great question of costumes had to be dis 
cussed. The period, as I have said, was Greek. 
No other kind of dress is permitted after the students 
have decided on a certain period. My Pole was not 
unlike Charlie Chaplin, and Rubenstein, although 
of a distinguished and imposing appearance, did not 
look very like a Greek. They decided to go to the 
Bon Marche and buy suitable material and that I 
would make them clothes at the studio. I went 
home and waited for them, collecting needles, 
cotton, and scissors. They came back with yards 
of tussore silk, with red and blue swastika patterns on 
it, bunches of imitation grapes for head-dresses, and 
sandals and ribbons to put round their waists. I 



cut the silk in half and sewed each side up, leaving 
only a hole for the head, and holes each side for the 
arms. The ribbon was tied round the middle under 
the armpits. I made two wreaths of the grapes and 
the vine leaves, and helped them to paint their faces. 
They looked very fine indeed and were extremely 
proud of themselves. I dined with the red-haired 
American and we went to watch the people enter the 
ball at Luna Park. We did not see the Pole, or 
Rubenstein, but many wonderful costumes. An 
American got in without a ticket, as he saw the stu 
dents unloading a wagon of champagne and helped 
them, and so got in without being noticed. I saw 
two English Guards' officers who had come dressed 
in togas made out of sheets. They could not have 
looked more like the Grenadier Guards in their uni 
forms than they did in the sheets. They got in 
safely. The American and I went to the Bois de 
Boulogne after and sat on a seat as it was a very hot 
evening. He lived in a Hotel which is on the Quays 
at the corner of the Pont Neuf, and near the statue of 
Henry IV. We went to Les Halles and bought 
two bottles of white wine which we took back to the 
hotel. His conversation I thought completely 
" gaga, 55 but the red hair made up for it and we 
drank the wine. I stayed at the hotel and at eight- 
thirty in the morning we decided to take one of the 
river boats and go down the river. It was a beautiful 
day and very hot. I had on a pair of sandals which 
I had had in London and were wonderfully made. 
I had very nice feet with long toes and was very 
proud of them. I had a check dress, very tight 



fitting., with a long full skirt, and on the chest, round 
yellow buttons like marbles. He wore a bright 
green shirt and no hat. We had to change at 
Auteuil, as we had decided to go to St. Cloud. 
When we got there we lay on the bank of the river 
and waved a bottle of beer at the passing bargees, 
who seemed to be much amused at us. We then 
took the boat back and I returned to Montparnasse 
to hear what happened at the ball. 

The cafes were filled this was about twelve a.m. 
with very dirty and very tired people most of whom 
were still drunk. Nothing much was to be got out 
of them. I knocked on the Pole's door but he was 
still asleep and so I went to the Academy and did 
some drawings. Later on I found the Pole at the 
Dome and he told me what had happened. Ruben- 
stein and he had collected Heifetz the violinist, and 
they had all gone together. They had a wonderful 
time and afterwards had gone to Montmartre to a 
night club. It was a place mostly frequented by 
French people and had a band consisting of a 
rather bad pianist and a rather worse violinist. 
Rubenstein said to the pianist, " Give me the 
piano/' and the pianist, who did not know who 
they were, said, " Oh no, Monsieur, you might 
break it! " However Rubenstein sat down. Heifetz 
said to the violinist, " Lend me the violin?" and the 
violinist said, " Oh no, Monsieur, you might break 
its chords! " but Heifetz took it and they both began 
to play. They played Hungarian dances, and most 
marvellously well. The whole cafe was entranced. 
A distinguished looking diplomat wept, the pianist 



wept in one comer and the violinist in the other, and 
the ladies of the house were so filled with emotion 
that they paid for the champagne. The next day 
at the Dome I met Eric Satie and told him the 
story. I spoke to him in French and finally ex 
plained, " Et a la fin Us c grues 3 out paye pour le 
champagne" He drew himself up and said, " Made 
moiselle nous rfavons pas de c grues ' en France" and I 
said, " How funny, we have lots in England/* 
However, I managed to pacify him and we had a 
drink together. That evening I saw Russell Green 
at the Dome. I said, " Hullo, how did you get to 
the D6me?" He said, " Is this the Dome? I 
thought it was the Rotonde." I said that I was glad 
that he had made a mistake as otherwise I should 
not have found him. He had never been to Paris 
before and said that he strongly suspected that the 
whole place was a fraud and that there was nothing 
really interesting to be seen. I said, " Have you any 
money? " He had a little and I said that I would 
show him the town as I knew it. He had taken a 
first in French at Oxford and spoke the most 
beautiful French. We started for the Bol de Cidre, 
off the Place St. Michel. Here Russell's French was 
not very well understood and so I did the talking 
in my bad French. We then went to some Bal 
Musettes and then to some low haunts in Mont- 
martre. He was delighted. We started out again 
the next day, where I met him at the Dome, and after 
ten days he went back to London a changed man. 

One day I met P. G. Konody at the Dingo, a 
small cafe in the Rue Delambre. He speaks every 



kind of language perfectly, and is a charming and 
most entertaining person. He was in Paris for a 
few days on business and was at a loose end in the 
evenings. I said 3 "Would you like to meet Eric 
Satie, I have just left him at the Dome? " Konody 
was delighted at the idea, as, of course, he had heard 
of Les Six and all the modern painters and poets 
and writers, but had met very few of them. We 
went to the Dome and I introduced them. I then 
had an inspiration. I said, " Come back with me 
and see my French friend, F., who knows everybody 
in Paris, and afterwards, perhaps, we can go and see 
Romeo and Juliet at the theatre in Montmartre. It is 
a French interpretation of Shakespeare's play by 
Jean Cocteau." I rang F. up, and we took a taxi 
to R.'s flat in the Rue de Conde, where F. was 
staying. We had some cocktails in the garden. It 
was a beautiful place on the ground-floor, part of a 
very good eighteenth-century house, and had a 
courtyard covered in grass with a fountain in the 
middle. The fountain was very pretty and repre 
sented a Cupid pouring water. We said that we 
thought of going to Romeo and Juliet and F. said, 
" Ring up Cocteau and he will give you some seats if 
there are any going. 3 * I rang him up and told him 
with whom I was and he told us to come and that he 
would keep us two seats. We had a very good dinner 
and went to L* Atelier, the theatre where the play was 
on. The stage dicor was done by Jean Victor Hugo. 
He is a descendant of Victor Hugo and has a most 
remarkable talent for stage decoration and cos 
tumes. The back cloth was of black velvet, and 



the floor also. The actors were dressed in black. 
The men wore black tights, and painted on the 
tights were legs drawn in the style of the Sumerian 
artists. I met afterwards Jean Hugo and told him 
how much I admired the stage setting, especially 
the legs. He explained to me that the actors' legs 
were so ugly he was forced to design new patterns 
for them. The effect was startling and it was 
almost impossible with the black tights against the 
black background to see what shape they really 
were. Yvonne George took the part of the nurse. 
I had met her once or twice at F.'s house. I 
will write a lot about her later on as she became 
afterwards one of my best friends. She was a mar 
vellous actress and had one of the most expressive 
faces that I have ever seen. The show was great fun. 
I don't know what Shakespeare would have thought 
of it. We went to the bar afterwards and I intro 
duced Konody to Cocteau and Yvonne. As we 
were already in Montmartre I suggested that we 
might do a tour of the night clubs. F. and R. came 
with us to Zelli's in the Rue Fontaine. Jo Zelli is 
an Italian and certainly has the night-club spirit. 
There is a bar with high perches on which, nightly 
and all night long, sit rows of drunks, mostly journal 
ists. Very few French people are tp be found there. 
There is a very large dancing hall with a negro band. 
I had been there once before with the Princess Murat 
and Lady Michelham. When I came with them Jo 
" Zelli rushed up to them and screamed at the waiter, 
"Royal Box for the Princess 53 ; I did not think 
much about that and we sat down at a table. On 



this occasion when I was with Konody, Zelli re 
cognized me and said, cc Royal Box for the Prin 
cess/ 3 I said, " Oh, Mr. Zelli, I think you have 
made a mistake, I am not a Princess," and then I 
realized that he always said that to any female who 
looked expensive or who was with expensive-looking 
men. We drank champagne and danced until very 

One day F. asked Marie and myself to have 
some cocktails at the flat. We found Yvonne George 
there, Cocteau, Radiguet, Stravinsky and Diaghilev. 
They asked me to bring my guitar which I did, and 
sang the " Drunken Sailor, 55 the " Servant Girl in 
Drury Lane," and the song about Nautical William. 
They were delighted with the tunes. Yvonne 
dressed herself up in cushion covers and a pair of 
white kid gloves, which she arranged on her head 
as a hat. She sang some of her songs and she, 
Cocteau, and Radiguet did an imitation scene from 
an imaginary play. They were very funny and we 
had a magnificent time. Marie and I stayed to 
dinner and we went to the Boeuf sur le Toit after 
wards. A few days later I dined at the Boeuf with 
F. and R. and later on Satie came in. I wore 
my golden dress covered with spangles. Cocteau 
and Radiguet were there and also Diaghilev 
and Boris Kochno. Satie was very affectionate 
and planted his bearded chin on my shoulder, it 
tickled a good deal, but I did not mind. He asked 
me to dance for him and the pianist played a suitable 
tune and I did various snake-like movements and felt 
rather like Salome dancing before Herod. It was 



great fun at the Boeuf when the dull people and the 
Americans went away and we were left to ourselves. 
Everyone did turns, either sang their songs, danced, 
or did acrobatics. 

I was introduced one day to a very nice American 
called Frank. Curiously enough, two years before, 
I had seen him in a small restaurant and always 
liked the look of him. He used to roll his eyes about 
and get up and do ridiculous dances by himself when 
he had drunk a good deal of wine. He was tall, 
with large blue eyes, and wore old-fashioned 
knickerbockers, the kind that we christened cc Minus 
twos " after the appearance of " Plus fours. 53 I 
have recently discovered that his line of conversation 
and his method of dancing were strongly influenced 
by Mr. Groucho Marx. He was extremely funny 
and amused me. I was very broke and very bored 
with life in Montparnasse and, although I had a 
fine time with my French friends, and at the Boeuf 
sur le Toit, I felt that I was not making any kind of 
progress, either from the point of view of painting or 
finance. One day Frank said, " I am bored here, 
let's go to Brittany." I said, " All right, I have no 
money at all." He said, " That doesn't matter, I 
have a few thousand francs and can live on that 
for a month, come along with me. 35 I bought 
some paints and a long roll of canvas which was 
wrapped round a wooden pole, and one afternoon 
we took the train to Brittany. We took some bottles 
of wine with us, as no one in France ever dreams of 
entering a train without some refreshment. We 
had to change at Rennes and also wait there for 



nearly an hour for another train. We went to the 
bar and drank some Calvados, We had decided to 
go to Douarnenez, which is a very long way from 
Paris and, it seemed to us, from anywhere else. We 
got to Quimper about seven-thirty a.m., feeling very 
tired, and changed for Douarnenez. Frank had had 
some friends who had stayed there and knew of a 
hotel. We had to walk over a huge suspension 
bridge to get to the hotel. The board and lodging 
was very cheap, about five or six shillings a day, and 
we took a very nice room at the back of the hotel. 
Douarnenez is at the mouth of a river and we were 
about half a mile from the port on a high cliff. 
There were no English or Americans in the hotel, 
for which we were very thankful. Frank spoke 
very good French as, when he had arrived in Paris 
with some friends, they had the sense to live in the 
workmen's quarters and learn French. He spoke 
in very much the same way as I did. He wanted to 
become a writer. He brought with him a copy of 
Ulysses, which he read every day while I worked. I 
think he was one of the nicest young men I have 
ever met, he never worried one or got on one's 
nerves. After we arrived we went to bed and slept 
for hours. The food was extremely good. Magnifi 
cent lobsters and course after course for luncheon 
and dinner. We drank cider for lunch, which made 
us feel very amiable towards the rest of the world, 
and sometimes sleepy, and wine for dinner. After 
dinner we wandered round the town and found the 
port. We discovered a little cafe kept by a charming 
lady and her daughter and filled with sailors. We 



decided to come here every evening. It was right 
on the quays and we drank Vermouth Cassis and 
sometimes Calvados. I found many subjects to 
paint and started by doing a water-colour. I then 
found, in a little street leading up to the town from 
the quays, a pale blue and cream-coloured ice 
cream barrow with white and grey stone houses 
behind. I painted this every morning, starting quite 
early. Frank sat outside the cafe, drank Ver 
mouth Cassis, and read Ulysses until I joined him 
when I had finished painting. I found life extremely 
agreeable and remember my stay in Douarnenez 
with the greatest pleasure. One day there w r as a 
Breton fete and all the peasants came out in the 
dresses of their ancestors. They looked wonderful, 
and played the Cornemuses, which are little bag 
pipes, and very much like the bag-pipes that are 
played by the peasants in Auvergne. The fete was 
held in a large field some miles from the town and 
we walked there and sat on long wooden benches 
to watch the dances. A few days after we arrived 
we found another little cafe near our hotel. It had 
a penny-in-the-slot piano which played a strange 
selection of war-time popular tunes, including an 
English one; its respectable title I don't know, as I 
can only remember the unprintable version of it. 
The cafe was kept by two buxom peasant women 
who wore, as in fact all the women did, little white 
caps and black dresses. On the counter were 
barrels of cider and in the cafe there were only 
sailors and no women at all except myself and the 
proprietresses. Barrels were used as tables and we 



sat round them on small stools. The sailors always 
drank beer out of half-pint bottles. We ordered 
a round one evening. No glasses were provided 
so the patronne produced fifteen bottles for fifteen 
sailors, and they and we drank out of the bottles. 
The sailors danced together and I danced with 
Frank. We got on very well with them, especially 
when I explained that I was " Galloise/ 3 This 
was not strictly true, but I was certainly born in 
Wales and could say, " Good health " in Welsh, 
which pleased them, as it is the same as in the 
Breton language. This reminded me of a story 
that Gedric Morris told me. He is, of course, 
Welsh and when he was quite young his family 
sent him to France to learn French. Unfortun 
ately, they chose Brittany as a suitable spot for 
his studies. When he got there he found that it 
was quite unnecessary to learn French as everybody 
understood Welsh and he returned to England 
knowing as little French as when he started out! 

In Douarnenez there was no sand or beach from 
where we could bathe, but two miles along the 
coast there was a wonderful beach with two or three 
miles of hard sand. The sea was generally rough 
with huge breakers. I could not swim and was 
rather nervous. We were the only people on the 
sea-shore and took our clothes off. Frank could 
swim very well. The waves were much higher than 
ourselves. They were about ten or twelve feet 
high. Frank grabbed me round my middle and 
pushed me head first through the waves as they 
approached us and just before they broke. I never 



expected to come out alive. This, however, did not 
teach me how to swim. 

Our hotel had a little cafe attached to it, and be 
fore dinner we would have aperitifs there, and I did 
drawings of the peasants. There was an enormously 
fat woman of whom I did many drawings. 

We had been in Douarnenez for nearly three 
weeks, and Frank had to sail for America in about 
ten days' time. We stayed a few more days, and 
decided to see some more places, before leaving for 
Paris. We went to Goncarneau, which is a most 
beautiful place. On the quays were about fifty old 
ladies and gentlemen with easels, all painting boats. 
This was a depressing sight and so we entered a 
small sailors 3 cafe and had some Calvados. The 
place was delightful, but the English and Americans 
awful. We spent the night there, and started the 
next day for Pont Aven, which I had read so much 
about in Horace Annesley VachelPs book, The Face 
of Clay. It was also the place where Gauguin and a 
large colony of artists had lived. It was a dreadful 
place. We went to a hotel which was full of really 
terrible English Colonels with their wives and 
daughters. The proprietor of the hotel recom 
mended us to an old lady near by as the hotel 
was full, who let us a charming room, with lace 
curtains, family photographs. Virgin Marys, and 
Crucifixes. It was pouring with rain when we 
arrived; I think it poured for two days. I sat in 
our room and painted a portrait of Frank in oils 
with an oleograph of the Virgin Mary behind him. 
We crossed the road to the hotel for our meals. 


o <? 



Next to us was a really frightful family, an elderly, 
hard-faced Englishwoman and her daughter. They 
wore blouses with whale-bone to hold up the collars, 
which came up to their ears. The anatomy of 
their chests was quite hidden by whale-bones and 
stuffing. They gazed at us with horror as Frank and 
I held each other's hands and whispered into each 
other's ears during lunch and dinner. The next day 
was a fete and the Bretons danced reels and quad 
rilles in the street. We joined in, which again 
shocked the English. It seems unkind and rude to 
always be objecting to one's fellow country-people, 
but those one so often finds abroad are frequently 
a blot on the race and should stay at home in some 
dismal village from which they probably came. We 
had to go to Quimperle to catch the train for Paris. 
Quimperle is a pretty place on a river and we had 
several hours to wait. We found a church and sat 
inside, in fact I think we knelt down and said a 
prayer, I forget what for. We then sat gloomily 
in a cafe till the train came in. It was full and 
we had to stand or sit on the floor of the corridor all 
night, it was very uncomfortable and very much 
worse than my voyage to Gollioure. We got to 
Montpamasse about nine a.m. Frank had to leave 
that same afternoon and we were both very sad. 
I shook him by the hand outside his hotel and then 
ran up the Boulevard Montpamasse to the Dome. 
It is too dreadful seeing people into trains. 

I found my friends and a woman I had not seen 
for some time who bought some of my Brittany 
drawings and gave me a thousand francs, which 



consoled me a little for Frank's departure. I visited 
the Pole, who, I think, had missed me a good deal. 
I started work at once and was able to afford a 
model. A Polish girl came and I painted her por 
trait in a fawn coloured " cloche " hat. I met, one 
day, a rich American woman. She was very amus 
ing and had an enormous apartment near the 
Champ de Mars. She drank a great deal of cham 
pagne and asked me to paint her portrait. She was 
fat, very smart, and heavily painted. I was to be 
given four thousand francs. I got a large canvas 
and began. She sat very badly, and very soon got 
angry with me, as she said that I had insulted her. 
All her enemies were delighted with it. I went 
occasionally to her flat, but life there was much too 
rough for me. When she got angry she would 
become violent. One day she got annoyed with 
some man and seized some geraniums that were in 
a pot. She rooted them out and threw them at him, 
and the pot afterwards. Fortunately, the man had 
just slammed the door and the pot crashed against it 
as the door closed. She paid me about fifteen hun 
dred francs, but I never got any more, and I believe 
thatit was eventually hung up in the butler's bedroom. 
She afterwards lost all her money, got some kind 
of job, and behaved in a very courageous manner. 
I met at the Dome two very charming men. One 
was Meriel Cooper and the other was Ernest B. 
Schoedsack. They had just come back from the un 
explored parts of Persia and had done their first big 
film called " Grass." Cooper was a small fair man 
with a large forehead, and Schoedsack was one of the 



best-looking men I have ever seen. He was six feet- 
five in height, and had the most beautiful eyes. I 
made great friends with Cooper. Schoedsack was 
known as " Shorty "; he adored very small women. 
Afterwards they both made the film " Chang/ 3 and 
the last one, and I think the finest, is " Rango," 
which " Shorty " made himself. He is a man with 
a most delightful sense of humour, as one can see in 
" Rango." He went afterwards on the expedition 
to the Sargasso Sea with Dr. Gann and, I think, is 
now married. I have never seen either of them 
since, but hope to do so some day. 

I met Sinclair Lewis at the Dome. He was with 
Stacy Aumonier, who is now dead. We had an 
amusing evening, and told stories of all kinds. 
Sinclair Lewis tells stories very well and has the 
most remarkable ones about life in the Middle West. 
He would come from time to time to the quarter 
and bring Mr. Howe of Ellis Island fame. One 
evening I came into the Dome and found Sinclair 
Lewis and Mr. Howe. I was sitting with them when 
in came two young American " College boys/' 
They were so impressed with meeting the great man 
that they sat silently and listened to him. This was 
quite right as he is well worth listening to. I had to 
go out and dine with someone, and came back about 
nine-thirty. I found, sitting at the back of the 
Dome, the two " College boys/ 9 alone and looking 
very frightened. I said, " What has happened to 
you? " They unfolded the following extraordinary 
story. They had a good many drinks, and foolishly 
opened their mouths. One of them said, " Say, Mr. 



Lewis, I guess that as far as style goes Flaubert has 
got you all beat, but as far as characterization goes 
youVe got Flaubert all beat. 53 Whereupon appar 
ently an appalling battle started and Sinclair Lewis 
left the Dome having practically won on a " knock 

out/ 3 

I met a young American, called John; he was a 
curious creature, not good-looking but tall, and with 
a very nice voice. He was a writer and wrote for 
Ford's paper, the Transatlantic Review. I liked him 
very much. He seemed to have almost every kind of 
complex possible; I thought him interesting. He 
lived near Paris in an old chateau, which was owned 
by a Greek lady and her husband, whose fortune was 
not so large as it had been before the War. They 
took in paying guests. They had several children 
who were very nice and well behaved. I went out 
to see him about once a week. All the pensionnaires 
had to speak French. There was a large garden, 
and after lunch we all played croquet, a game that 
I am very fond of. There was no grass on the cro 
quet court, only hilly earth, and to get the balls 
through the hoops was purely a matter of luck. 
The chateau was of a very fine design and I should 
think late seventeenth century, with large windows 
opening on to the lawn. There were some very fine 
pictures, two small Gauguins, a Sisley, and a Manet. 
After the croquet game was finished we walked 
round the countryside, occasionally stopping to 
consume some Vermouth Cassis. In the spring the 
landscape was really beautiful, there were orchards 
everywhere, and one could see nothing for miles 



around but white blossoms. I never dared to 
try and paint them. Much later on, when I at 
tacked a pear-tree in bloom in the South of France, 
to my astonishment I did, I think, the best land 
scape I have ever painted. Anyway, I sold it for 
twenty pounds and it was only a small one. I 
took the train back to Paris about eight o'clock 
with my arms full of roses which the Greek lady 
gave me. Sometimes John carne back to Paris with 
me and we dined there and he went back later 
on. I enjoyed his company and we had a very 
pleasant and romantic friendship. I brought the 
roses to the Pole, who painted still lives of them 
when they were fresh, and through every stage of 
decay until they were quite dried up, painting 
about three different still lives out of each bunch of 

From time to time the artists hired the Bal Bullier 
and organized dances. One time the Poles would 
have a ball, another the Russians and various other 
nationalities. It was not necessary to wear the 
national costume, but everyone wore some kind of 
fancy dress. One day the Poles gave a ball. They 
hired a salle near the Porte d 3 Orleans, as it was 
not to be such a big affair as the Bal Bullier. I 
found, during the afternoon, Jemmett the " Chelsea 
giant/ 5 He was six feet- ten and used at one time to 
be seen each morning in Piccadilly wearing a top- 
hat and tail coat. He was a really magnificent- 
looking creature, as he was perfectly proportioned 
and very good-looking. I asked him if he would like 
to come with me and he said that he would. I had 



not got a fancy dress and had not time to think of 
one, so I wore a very fine oyster-coloured evening 
dress. Jemmett appeared in very old tattered 
trousers, a check shirt, a cap, and a red handkerchief 
round his neck. Later on in the evening his braces 
burst and I had to stand on a seat and attach the 
braces with a safety-pin to his shirt. We found, at 
the Dome, Claude McKay, the coloured author; 
we took him with us. It was surprising how good 
Jemmett was at folding himself up in a taxi. We 
took another woman with us as well and we all got 
in quite comfortably. When we got to the ball we 
found a Pole who was six feet five strutting about 
being admired by everybody. When I walked in 
with Jemmett the Pole became pale with rage and 
nobody took any notice of him at all for the rest of 
the evening. I danced with Jemmett. He danced 
beautifully, but my head only came up to his chest, 
so one dould not see anything or anybody while one 
was dancing. I found I had lost my hotel key after 
wards, and decided to go to the studio and stay 
there. I walked up the long flight of stairs which 
was quite dark. I lit a match and saw, to my 
surprise, standing motionless outside the studio door, 
a man in the uniform of a Samurai Warrior, com 
plete with two swords sticking out, one each side of 
him. He explained that he had dressed in the 
studio and had left his trousers inside and was wait 
ing for my Pole to come back. We both waited and 
finally he arrived. I put on the uniform the next 
day and looked very odd in it and the Pole did some 
drawings of me. 



I met James Joyce one day; Ford Introduced me 
to him. He was a most charming man and h^d a 
most beautifully proportioned head. I asked him 
if I could do a painting of him. He said that I 
could, but I sent telegrams to him and he sent 
telegrams to me, and all of them arrived too late or 
too early and so I never painted him at all. He 
dined every evening at the Trianon and one evening 
I did a drawing of him when I was sitting at another 
table and he did not know that I was doing it. It 
was a very good likeness and I believe was repro 
duced in an American paper. The drawing is un 
fortunately lost and I never got paid for it. I met 
him and his wife whenever I went to the Trianon 
which, alas, was not often as it was rather expensive. 
Joyce is the most respectable and old-fashioned 
man that I have ever met. He also has the most 
beautiful manners, which is a pleasant change from 
most of the modern young men. He has a most 
charming voice and occasionally will sing. I think 
he is a little older than I am, but we were discussing 
old-fashioned songs one evening, " Daisy, Daisy, 
give me your answer, do, 55 and others of the same 
kind and I said, " Did you see many years ago a 
show that was a kind of Magic Lantern show with a 
ship going down? The ship was attached to the 
screen and heaved up and down and voices sang a 
song called, c I'll stick to the ship, boys, you save 
your lives '? " It was a tragic story of a ship that 
sank and the Captain stuck to his ship because he 
was a bachelor and the crew had wives and families. 
Joyce remembered it and knew the whole song. I 



remembered only the chorus and we sang that 
together. I went to the show (it was called some 
body's " Diorama ") with my Grandmother, who 
wept, as she always did, at the sight of a ship. 
Joyce, I have heard since, paid me a very nice 
compliment and said I was one of the* few vital 
women that he had ever met. I don't know if that 
is true, but I have very big lungs and can make a 
great deal of noise if encouraged. Joyce spoke with 
the most charming accent. His wife was fair and 
extremely nice; he had two children, a son and a 
daughter, who did not speak very much. 

Yvonne George had got an engagement in 
London to sing at the Alhambra, and I had decided 
to go to London anyway to try and collect some 
money. Yvonne was a great friend of the Countess 
A. 3 s and she said, " I will pay your train fare to 
London if you will look after Yvonne. " We all met 
at the Gare du Nord. The Countess brought our 
lunch with her, and two bottles of champagne. 
When we got into the train, we discovered an old 
friend of ours who said, " Are you having lunch on 
the train? " We said, " No, we have got our lunch 
with us. 59 He said, " Would you like some cham 
pagne? " And we said, " Yes/ 5 We had our lunch 
and he joined us afterwards, bringing some wine 
with him. The Countess had engaged a cabin on the 
boat for herself and Yvonne and they went below. 
I wandered up to the bar. There I found Sachy 
and Osbert Sitwell and Sir Gerald du Maurier and 
Sir James Dunn. We had a drink and I sat on the 
deck with the Sitwells. It was a beautiful day and 



the voyage was very agreeable. Yvonne had 
arranged to stay at the Hotel Metropole In Northum 
berland Avenue. The Countess had to stay with a 
friend of hers. Yvonne and I went to the hotel. I 
had a room on the fourth floor and she had a room 
lower down. We were very tired and so we both 
went to bed. 

The next morning about nine-thirty I went down 
stairs and tapped on her door. The maid had 
drawn the blinds and outside it was completely 
dark. There was not actually a fog but an overhead 
one and it was just as dark as night. Yvonne gave 
a scream of horror and said, " This is dreadful, I 
shall return to France at once! " I said, " Give me 
some money and you will not want to return so 
quickly/* I went to Soho and bought a bottle of 
pre-war absinthe, a copy of the Matin, and some 
Maryland jaunes. When I arrived back we pushed 
the bell and sent for the waiter and told him to bring 
some ice. We drank a few absinthes and felt very 
much better. The fog then lifted and we went to 
the Alhambra, where she had to rehearse. I sat on 
the stage and translated to the conductor. That 
evening she appeared and had an enormous success. 
After die first house, which I did not go to, but 
waited for the second one, Yvonne returned to the 
hotel, and, finding me alone, said, " Now take me 
to somewhere amusing, not the Ritz or places like 
that but somewhere that is amusing and unique/* 
I had already been thinking of places to take her to 
that would amuse and possibly astonish her. I said 
that for the moment I had only three-and-sixpence. 



She had just got some money from the theatre and 
produced a ten-pound note. At this time ten- or 
even five-pound notes were not, I think, legal 
tender, I looked in horror at it and said, " You 
must get some change for that/ 5 but she said that 
it did not matter. I had a horrible presentiment 
of the trouble that we might land in. We took 
a taxi to Dirty Dick's in the City, near Liverpool 
Street. I paid for the taxi which came to nearly 
three-and-sixpence. Yvonne was delighted with 
the City and could hardly believe that Dirty Dick's, 
with the mummified cats and rats, existed. She 
had not troubled to remove her stage make-up, 
which really was very sensational: bright blue eye 
lids and enormous eyelashes. All the local custo 
mers, sailors, bank-clerks, and old ladies in shawls 
stared in astonishment. We went in to the farthest 
bar, where there are festoons of dead cats and rats, 
old policemen's hats and huge keys, all covered 
with dust. Dirty Dick was the son of a rich City 
merchant and lived in the eighteenth century. He 
was engaged to a young woman who had died on 
the day of the wedding, and as he had sworn never 
to wash again, he became known as " Dirty Dick." 
All the cats from the neighbourhood crowded in 
through the windows and died there, and he kept 
a tavern. The port is very good there and we had 
several glasses and some sandwiches. Yvonne was 
blissfully happy. I was nervously watching the 
clock and wondering what would happen when 
the ten-pound note was produced. She saw the 
time and she said 3 <c Mon Dieuje dois Stre a VAlhambra 



en vingt minutes! " She asked for the bill. The 
waiter looked at us as if we were crooks and sent 
for the manager who looked worse, and I said, 
" Stay here and give me the ten-pound note! " 
I rushed up the staircase and into the arms of a 
policeman. I said, " I am in Dirty Dick's with 
the Star Turn of the Alhambra and we only have 

a ten-pound note and the manager thinks we are 
crooks and he won't change it." The policeman 
smiled and said, " Well, Miss, I know it's a bit 
*ard on two ladies like yourselves. Take it to 
the Great Eastern Hotel/ 3 pointing out to me the 
way to get there. I ran round the corner and asked 
for the cashier. I was breathless by the time that I 
arrived and gasped, " Dirty Dick's, Star Turn, 
Alhambra, ten-pound note ! " and I wrote all this 
information on the back of the note and he gave 



me ten one-pound notes and we just got back in 

Gwen Farrar was acting on the same bill as 
Yvonne. I went round to the theatre one day and 
arrived during the first house. Yvonne had dressed 
herself up as Gwen and was engaged upon imitating 
her in her dressing-room. She was a marvellous 
mimic. I left the Hotel Metropole, sold some 
drawings, and returned to Paris, leaving Yvonne 
and the Countess in London. 

One evening I was sitting in the Dome with some 
Americans, Harold E. Stearns was there, and they 
were speaking of Hendrik van Loon, the writer. I 
had not read any of his works, but as it had been 
suggested to me on one occasion to do a book of 
drawings of famous people, I listened for all the 
information that I could get. I gathered that he 
was expected to come that evening to the Dome and 
asked them if I might sit with them and meet him. 
It was rather like waiting for the arrival of the 
Almighty. About eight-thirty he arrived with his 
wife. I was introduced to them. I said, " Mr, Van 
Loon, may I do a drawing of you? " and he said, 
" Yes, certainly, will you have lunch with me at 
Foyofs to-morrow? " I was delighted. He was a 
very tall man and most awfully nice and amusing. 
Foyot's had probably the best food in Paris and is 
a nice, warm and comfortable restaurant near the 
Luxembourg Gardens. It is much patronized by 
the French Senators as it is directly opposite the 



Senate. Some of the wicked English who used to 
dine there, on one occasion were discovered popping 
an indecent book through the Senators' letter-box. 
It was a French one too, which they had bought, 
and, owing to its incredible indecency, they were 
rather embarrassed with its presence in their hotel. 
I met Van Loon at one-thirty. He handed me a 
packet of a hundred blank visiting cards and said, 
" I dined last night at Larue with two friends of 
mine and we did a hundred and fifty drawings; I 
thought that you might find these useful for making 
drawings in public places. 55 I thanked him and, I 
think, we did one or two drawings then to christen 
them. He also bought me a history book of his 
called Ancient Man which he had illustrated. He 
did very amusing little drawings. I wished that, 
when I had been a child, I had been given such an 
interesting history book, I might have taken some 
interest in the subject. We had ordered sole and 
on the first page he did a drawing of a sole and 
underneath wrote, " To N. H., in memory of a 
common sole." I was delighted and we had great 
fun. Van Loon drank Vichy water and I had some 
wine. Suddenly he said, " My God, this is Thanks 
giving Day! I had quite forgotten it, I must give 
you a present, what would you like? 55 I could not 
think of anything for a minute, but after thinking a 
little I said, " I would like a guitar. 55 He said, 
" That is splendid, I play the violin myself, and we 
will go and inspect the music shops. 55 We went 
round the back streets in the neighbourhood of the 
Boulevard St. Germain which was quite near. I 



tried all the guitars and Van Loon played all the 
violins. We could not find anything that we liked 
so moved on to the Boulevard Montparnasse. 
There were several shops that I knew of there, and 
we tried more guitars and more violins. Alas! we 
could not find a single guitar that we liked and I 
had to content myself with a large bunch of red 
roses. He came and sat for me a few days later and 
I did a drawing of him which was a bad drawing 
but a good likeness. I went often to his hotel near 
the Rue de Rivoli, and met his wife " Jimmy/ 5 who 
was charming and we all went to a Russian restaur 
ant in the Rue du Bac and dined. I saw them quite 
often. One day they asked me to go to a large hotel 
in the Champs Elysees to dance and have tea or 
cocktails. Van Loon fetched me in the Daimler, 
which he always had in Paris, As we were walking 
down the corridor of the hotel leading to the ball 
room I saw, walking ahead of me, a man with a 
wonderful figure and wide shoulders. I walked 
quickly on and caught him up and saw as I passed 
him that he was Carpentier. I saw him. dancing 
afterwards. "Jimmy" and Van Loon's Dutch 
sister were waiting for us. I danced with Van 
Loon, who, like nearly all big men, danced very 
well. His wife and sister did not care about dancing. 
We all left together and stepped into the Daimler. 
As we drove away the sister said, " Hendrik, what 
kind of men are they that frequent this hotel; 
distinguished people, attaches at Embassies, I sup 
pose? " Van Loon said, " No, my dear; bastard sons 
of bitches! " And Jimmy said, " Oh, Hendrik! " 



Nancy Cunard was at this time in Paris and asked 
me if I would like to meet George Moore. I was 
very much thrilled and felt as if I was going to be 
introduced to one of the Old Masters. He stayed 
at Foyot's when he was in Paris. He was charming 
and asked me to lunch with him in the Place de 
TOdeon. I showed him some reproductions of my 
paintings, they were nearly all portraits, including 
the one of Sickert, He said, " I see you are a clever 
woman, but why do you paint people larger than 
life? " We went after lunch to the Galeries Durand- 
Ruel, and Georges Petit. This was most interesting, 
as, of course, George Moore was known there in the 
days when he wrote his book on the Impressionists 
and the manager said, " Ah, Mr. Moore, do you re 
member what Edouard Manet said to you that day 
in his studio in 1875? " Impressionist pictures were 
brought up from the cellars. Sisleys, Pisarros, 
Jondkinds and Manets, which I had never seen 
before. He told me how he had studied Art but 
had never found himself until he took to writing. 
He said to me, " My dear, you may do a lot with 
your talent and your life but not until you have got 
a point of view; some day you may develop one; 
/have got a point of view." 




THE Countess A. asked me if I would like to motor 
with her from Vichy, where she was about to take 
a cure, to Juan-les-Pins, where her brother-in-law 
had a house. She was going alone to Vichy for two 
weeks and I was to join her for the last week and 
we could motor South together. I had often wanted 
to see the Riviera, and was delighted. I arrived at 
Vichy one evening after a long dreary journey and 
she met me at the station. She thought that I was 
lost as the train was about an hour and a half late. 
She was not allowed to eat in the evenings, so I had 
to dine alone. After dinner we sat and talked till 
late in her sitting-room. The next morning she had 
to go off early to the cure, and I wandered about the 
town. It is a most dismal place, with many Arab 
chiefs; and in the gardens are kiosks, one side of 
which sit the chiefs and the other side their Arab 
servants. Everyone looked bad tempered and 
liverish; afterwards I was told that they were all 
suffering from that complaint. Before dinner we 
went to the Celestin Spring. The first day I hired a 
little mug and it was hung up on a hook with the 
other mugs. I, of course, was not a patient, but 
could drink the waters. I found it so agreeable as it 
poured out of the rock and had so much more kick 
in it than when it was bottled that I swallowed it in 
one gulp, to the horror of the attendant and the 
other patients. Afterwards I had to sip it. 

I had arrived on a Tuesday and spent most of the 



day alone* On the following Saturday the Countess 
said, " The motor will come round to-morrow mom- 
ing and we will have lunch at Moulins. There is a 
fine cathedral and a museum and the food and 
wine are very cheap and good in the town/' As we 
left Vichy I noticed that the whole population 
seemed to be leaving also. The Countess then ex 
plained that as the clinics were shut on Saturdays 
and the patients were free to do as they liked, 
feeling very hungry and well, they took any kind of 
conveyance to the country, where they ate and 
drank to their heart's content. We visited, first the 
cathedral, which has a very fine picture in it, and 
then the museum and afterwards a little hotel, 
where we had a magnificent dinner and very good 
wine. I think the whole bill came only to fifty 
francs. We stayed at Vichy for a week and then 
started for the South. 

It was a most interesting voyage for me, as the 
Countess had studied architecture at the Sorbonne 
and knew a great deal about French history and 
painting. We spent the night at St. Nectaire in 
Auvergne; there is a most beautiful twelfth-century 
church, where, inside, the pillars are painted and 
in a state of almost perfect preservation; also a 
twelfth-century statue of Saint Baudime. He is a 
most beautiful and rather terrifying figure and had 
had an adventurous career, having been stolen 
several times from his safe by robbers. We had 
lunch at le Puy, which is a most strange place. 
There are volcanic rocks, which are very high and 
steep, sticking out of the town; on these rocks are 



statues and churches. I suppose one has to climb 
up them. They are very high and almost perpendic 
ular. On the top of one is a statue which looked 
to me exactly like the Statue of Liberty, and appar 
ently quite as large. It all looks as if it had been 
created by Gustave Dore. We found a museum 
with many Roman remains and visited the Cathe 
dral. We walked round inside, the Countess explain 
ing the architecture to me, and suddenly we were 
attacked by the rudest and ugliest priest I have ever 
seen. He flew at us and told us that we were dis 
turbing the people at prayer. We could only see 
one person present, and he was asleep. The priest 
stormed and the Countess told him what she thought 
of him and waved a hippopotamus stick, which she 
always carried. She told me that she only wished that 
she had had the courage to beat him with it. She 
succeeded in frightening him into believing that he 
was going to be beaten and he finally slunk away. 
We were both trembling with rage and on leaving 
the church we found outside a stall, with hand-made 
lace and embroidery for sale. A small girl was 
standing by the stall. She said that her mother had 
gone home for a minute. We asked her what the 
priest's name was and told her what a rude, horrible 
man he was, knowing that this would be repeated to 
her mother, who would, in detail, explain the whole 
incident to the entire town. We gathered from the 
little girl that Monsieur B. was a far from popular 
figure and we left the town triumphantly. 

We spent the next night at Alais and from there 
we went to Nimes. We took rooms at the Hotel de 



Luxembourg and came out to a neighbouring cafe 
to have a drink on the terrasse and to buy some 
cigarettes. The Countess said, cc Wait for me, I will 
go into the c tabac ? and get a paper and some 
cigarettes." I waited and she stayed there rather 
a long time and came out laughing and said, cc I 
have found two of your friends inside. 35 I could 
not imagine who they could be. She would not tell 
me, but said that they were both men and that they 
had arranged for us all to dine together at a restaur 
ant opposite the Roman Arena and then go to a 
travelling circus that they had found just outside 
the town. At seven o'clock we hired a horse-drawn 
vehicle that the Americans in Paris call a " sea 
going hack " and drove to the restaurant. We 
went upstairs and there were F. and R. We were 
delighted to meet each other, and as we had a great 
deal to talk about, it was a most entertaining dinner 
party. F. and R. had just come from a place near 
Bordeaux, where Cocteau, Radiguet, and Max 
Jacob had stayed. The Countess had hired the 
carriage for the evening and after dinner we all 
got in and drove to a circus. Afterwards we went 
back to our hotel as F. and R. were staying there 
too. They had brought several bottles of wine, 
called Vin de Carthaglne. They had bought it be 
cause they liked its name and also the shape of the 
bottles, which had spouts. The wine was very 
sweet and sickly. They also had a bottle of PEau 
de VArquebuse, which they had bought for the same 
reason. This was really terrible, and, as all the 
occupants of the hotel had gone to bed, we had to 



go to bed ourselves without a drink of any kind. 
The next day we had lunch at the hotel as both 
my friend and F. and R. knew the proprietor. He 
gave us a magnificent lunch and insisted upon us 
tasting all kinds of wine from his cellar. After 
lunch F. wanted to show me the Roman pond and 
fountain in the public gardens. Afterwards F. and 
R. had to go and we continued our pilgrimage. 

We stopped at Tarascon where the Countess sent 
a postcard to Leon Daudet and went and looked 
at the fortress. We arrived at Avignon and took 
two rooms at a hotel where we found Tommy Earp 
and his wife. The next day we all motored to 
Villneuf and saw the frescoes in the monastery. We 
also went to see the Palais des Papes in Avignon itself. 
I have a horror of looking down from high places. 
F. has it too, and it makes him really ill if he is 
any higher up in a hotel than the first floor. The 
tower of the Palace is very high and has more than 
four hundred steps. I, feeling brave, walked up it 
alone as no one else had the energy. When I got 
out on to the roof I could see the country for miles 
around. There is a very fine early Corot of this 
tower in the National Gallery. There is no railing 
round the edge and I thought that I would like to 
see if I could really look down. I did for a second 
but ran very rapidly away from the edge and down 
the four hundred steps. The frescoes in the palace 
are most beautiful and perfectly preserved, having 
only been discovered under some whitewash, fairly 
recently. We went on to St. Remy-en-Provence. 
The Countess and I photographed each other 



sitting on the Arc de Triomphe. We also saw the 
asylum that Van Gogh was in. Near St. Remy,is 
Les Baux, a lonely ruined town on a rock. Only 
about eighty people live there, it is most grim and 
sinister; and after drinking a bottle of very good 
white wine we were glad to get away from its 
gloomy atmosphere. We passed through Aries, 
which is a very bright and gay and paintable place, 
which can clearly be seen from Van Gogh's pictures. 
I was sorry that we could not stop. 

We got to Aix-en-Provence at nine-thirty p.m. 
and took rooms at the Hotel des Thermes Sextius. 
Darius Milhaud was living at Aix with his family 
and we found him the next day. He said that he 
would take us and show us over Cezanne's house and 
then take us some miles further out to see Mont 
St. Victoire, the famous pink mountain. Milhaud 
came to our hotel and we started in the motor for 
Cezanne's house. It was then owned by some very 
bourgeois people. I believe they did quite a trade in 
Cezanne's hats. It was curious to see the garden, 
as everywhere one saw Cezanne's pictures and how 
realistic they are! At the top of the house is a very 
small studio where he worked. On one wall was a 
large painting of a cow, most certainly not by 
Cezanne. We drove on, and saw, on turning a 
corner, Mont St. Victoire. It was a high and most 
beautiful mountain, much more beautiful and quite 
distinguishable from those surrounding it. We 
stopped at a little cafe from which we had a fine 
view of it. Cezanne used this cafe when he was 
alive. We drank some Vin de Tavel, which is a 



local wine, and found some old-fashioned postcards 
of the early 'nineties, representing the smart visitors 
to house-parties in the neighbourhood. There was 
a particularly fine specimen of a General's house- 
party, the ladies wearing leg-of-mutton .sleeves and 
sailor hats. We then had tea at Milhaud's parents 3 
house. Milhaud told us many amusing stories, one 
of Georges Auric, who was very absent-minded and 
who was asked to a party. By some mischance he 
was not introduced to the great man of the after 
noon, the Academician, Edmond Jaloux. Jaloux 
came up to Georges and said, " Je suis Jaloux " and 
Georges turned round and said, " De qui? " Aix-en- 
Provence is a town of fountains. There are several 
in the main street, very pretty ones, covered in moss, 
with the water dripping from the moss. 

We then started on the last lap of our journey. 
We had lunch at Brignoles, where all the English 
stop on their way South. There is a restaurant 
there famous for its ecrevisses. We got to St. Raphael, 
where we sat in a cafe by the sea and had a drink. 
The weather was beautiful and we felt very pleased 
with life. Juan les Pins is not very far away and 
we got there about seven-thirty. Our chauffeur 
could not find the villa and asked an old man the way. 
He directed us and added, " Cest la maison construite 
comme urn mine" This did not sound to us very 
promising. What he really meant was that it had 
a tower with battlements and although quite 
modern it was built like an old castle. It was on the 
sea with a little garden leading to the sea-shore. 
The Prince M. and his wife and daughter and a 



crowd of others came out to meet us. The villa 
was filled up and so we had to stay at the house next 
door. This house was let out in rooms by an Aus 
trian Countess. It had been sequestrated during 
the War. The Countess was a very beautiful woman 
with white hair. My friend had a room at the back. 
I thought the whole place most sinister. The room 
had a padded door with a tiny window in it that had 
bars for someone to peep through at the occupant 
of the room. All the windows and cupboards had 
wires over them; in fact it was a complete padded 
cell. My room opened out of it and faced the sea. 
Outside was a small conservatory and then a garden 
leading down to the sea-shore. At this time the 
Casino at Juan les Pins was only partially construc 
ted. The beach was nearly empty most of the time. 
We had our meals with the Prince M. and his party. 
There was a Russian Baroness staying there who had 
gone through the War in the Russian Army as a 
Cossack orderly to a general. She had won the St. 
George's Cross. I saw a photograph of her in her 
uniform. She came from the Caucasus and was short 
but very strong. She gave me a Cossack's coat and 
some cigarettes. All the servants were Russians and 
in the evenings we would sit round a charcoal fire in 
the garden with our legs crossed and cook " Shlas- 
lik," which is mutton and bacon put on a long 
skewer and held over the burning charcoal. We 
looked like a gipsy encampment. The Russian 
servants had mostly been officers during the War 
and had either to be servants or to keep restaurants. 
When the whole party went into Nice the servants 



would spread themselves round the drawing-room, 
drink the drinks, read the newspapers, and smoke 
cigarettes. Our rooms always gave me a strange., 
creepy feeling. One evening I decided to go to bed 
early and went to my room about nine-thirty. 
Some hours later I woke up and found myself star 
ing at the window, which was a part of the con 
servatory. I was so terrified that the whole bed 
shook and it was some minutes before I could turn 
on the light. I opened the door of my friend's room 
and saw that she was sound asleep. I thought that 
there were probably burglars, as she had some 
valuable jewellery. I did not think any more about 
this until the day we left, and on our way to catch 
the train at Antibes for Paris, a Russian lady, who 
had been a member of the house-party, said, " Oh, 
you know your house was haunted and the last 
people had to leave? " I had cold shivers down my 
back. I suppose that at some time something awful 
must have taken place in the house. I hear that 
now it has been turned into a restaurant, as no one 
would live in it. 

F. and R. were staying at Nice and came over 
to see us often. Sir Hugo de Bathe was at Antibes 
and came over too. At an enormous house in 
Juan itself lived the Hudnuts. Mr. Hudnut's 
daughter had married Rudolph Valentino. Sir 
Hugo knew them and one day they asked him if he 
would bring his friends to tea, meaning all of us. 
Half the party were thrilled but the other half were 
too lazy and comfortable at home to move. As 
most of our party were poor and the Hudnuts were 



rich we decided that, at least, we must make a 
good impression. Three of us actually went: Sir 
Hugo, who took us, a Russian Count, and myself. 
We brought two motor-cars with us. The house was 
enormous with a huge marble hall with life-sized 
bronze statues in Watteauesque costumes. Mr. and 
Mrs. Hudnut were there, Valentino and his wife, 
and two English people from Nice. Everyone was 
rather nervous. In the middle of the room was a 
grand piano. Sir Hugo was looking very imposing 
in an enormous check overcoat that looked rather 
like a horse blanket, and of which he was very 
proud. He explained to the company that I sang 
sea shanties and other songs. I was horrified that 
I should be made to perform. Valentino sat me 
down at the piano and sat on the piano stool with 
me. He poured me out some whisky to encourage 
me. His wife, Natasha Rambova, sat on the other 
side of me. I have no voice but the songs were 
funny and I can sing in tune, so I got away with it. 
I found Valentino charming. He was tall and fine 
looking, but, of course, his face was photogenic 
and looked much finer on the screen than it did in 
real life. At this time I had never seen him on the 
cinema as I hardly ever went at all. I think he was 
rather pleasantly surprised that I didn't go into 
raptures over his performances on the screen. I 
talked to him a good deal about myself, which 
seemed to amuse him and we got on very well to 
gether. After tea and some cocktails we drove away 
to a cafe to find our friends, who were anxiously 
waiting to hear how we had got on. I was taken to 



Nice. This was very interesting to me, as, when I 
had been in Russia I had read the life of Marie 
Bashkirtseffand was very interested in her. A great 
part of her life was spent in Nice. My Countess's 
mother-in-law, who was staying at the villa, was a 
Russian lady of nearly eighty and had known the 
whole BashkirtsefF family and told me a great deal 
about them. There is a fountain in Nice in memory 
of Marie. I was taken to see this and to the Museum, 
where there are some of her pictures and a large 
marble figure of her in a smart dress with a bustle. 
I am now severely reprimanded, if I ever mention 
this lady's name, for being old-fashioned: but I 
still have a great deal of admiration for her char 
acter. If she had only had the sense to realize that 
during her life-time the great man was Edouard 
Manet and not Bastion Lepage! She fell in love 
with Lepage and was completely influenced by him. 
In any case both their paintings seems to lack sensi 
bility so completely and to be so sec. Whatever 
critics had to say about her, she did influence the 
fashions of her time and attained the most amazing 
amount of knowledge during her short life. 

I was taken to Monte Carlo also, which I thought 
was a charming place, and filled with comic police 
men and the strangest old Englishwomen who earn 
their livings at the Casino. We saw them parading 
about the town. I saw one with black stockings 
and white shoes, a white coat and skirt, a large 
hat with purple flowers in it, and a purple spotted 
veil. The whole head-dress looked like a meat safe 
covered in muslin. The Lower Corniche was the 



most terrifying road that I have ever been driven 
on and the Prince drove faster than anyone I had 
ever driven with. He tore round the hair-pin bends 
just missing the other cars. It was rather a nerve- 
racking experience. We had been away from Paris 
for five weeks and had to go back* We took the 
train from Antibes as the motor had been sent back 
a few days before. We had a w agon-lit > which I 
found a pleasant change from my journey to 
Brittany and Collioure, as one went to sleep in a 
comfortable bed and woke up in Paris, 




IN the late autumn Paris was very pleasant as all 
the tourists had left and only the serious people re 
mained behind for the winter. There was a Russian 
Ball at the Bal Bullier, arranged by Larionof. The 
balls at the Bal Bullier were the best of all if one got 
in intact. Outside one had to wait in a queue, 
sometimes for nearly an hour. One very cold winter 
night we had to wait for a long time and the people 
behind started rushing the doors. If I hadn't been 
protected by two men and a policeman I think I 
should have been killed; as it was, a great many 
people were badly hmt with the broken glass. B., 
my old friend, the man who had played soldiers 
with Tuohy and the champagne bottles outside the 
Dome, were at the Ball. When he got excited, after 
Mandarin Curasao, he had a passion for climbing. 
He would climb anything, trees, church -steeples, 
pillars, anything he could find. He found a row of 
pillars holding up the balcony and swarmed up one. 
After becoming rather tired he descended slowly on 
to the head of an infuriated Swedish diplomat. It 
required a great deal of tact and some champagne 
,to calm the Swede. The little dwarf who played in 
Romeo and Juliet was there. He was about three feet 
ten high and had a large head. He came dressed as 
a baby and wore imitation hands and arms and a 
baby's mask over his face. Many people really 
thought that he was about four and said, " Va te 
coucher! Oil est ta Maman? Cest un scandale" The 



dwarf was certainly not younger than thirty-five. 
He is an excellent actor and I have seen him in 
several French films. I knew him quite well and 
one day he came to the Dome in a pair of check 
plus-fours with a little gun. He said that he had 
been shooting sparrows on his estate; he looked 
very funny. 

My friend Marie was staying at Foyot's and intro 
duced me to a rich man who bought pictures and 
had a magnificent collection of old Masters and 
sculptures. He was a great friend of Augustus 
John's. He asked us to dine with him and we took 
him afterwards to see some friends of Marie's, 
George Adam and his wife. Pearl, at their flat. 
Marie's rich friend came to my studio and bought 
some drawings. He knew a great deal about food 
and drink and whenever one dined with him it was 
a wonderful experience. I took him to see the 
Countess A. They got on very well, but I think she 
found him a little out of date. One day I dined with 
him and we decided to go to the Swedish Ballet. It 
was not supposed to be very good but some of the 
dtcor was interesting and also the music. During the 
interval we went to the bar where everyone met. I 
found the Countess A., Lady Michelham, and, in a 
comer, James Joyce. I introduced them. Joyce 
was rather frightened of them at first, but not so 
astonished as when, a few minutes later, Valentino 
came in and I introduced them both. They were 
the last people in the world who I should think 
would have met in the ordinary way, and they were 
almost speechless. 



It sometimes occurred to me that I should go 

back to England and live there and that I was not 

really getting anywhere either in life or in painting. 

Of course, life in Paris for foreign artists is extremely 

difficult if they have not enough money coming in 

regularly to pay for food and lodging. I could just 

scrape along. When I exhibited at the Salon 

d'Automne or the Salon des Independants I had 

good notices and encouragement from people like 

Friesz and Brancusi, and now and then did a drawing 

or a portrait which I sold. I had heard that things 

were brightening up in London. The Countess A. 

asked me to spend a few days at her country house 

near Versailles. It was a large converted farmhouse, 

the sitting-room had been a barn and it had been 

built with paving stones outside and looked very 

much an English country house. It was in the 

middle of a large orchard, one part of which was 

just a field of rose-bushes. There were several white 

goats, including a huge billy-goat, who was tied up 

with a chain; he smelt horribly and would make a 

dive at anyone who approached him. 

I had often spoken of Ronald Firbank, and the 
Countess was most anxious to meet him. He had 
taken a house at Versailles from a French Colonel, 
and we decided to call upon him. I wrote him a 
note to say that we were coming. We went to 
Versailles the following day. When the motor 
stopped we saw a tall figure peering through the 
curtains. We were shown in. Ronald was in a 
particularly nervous mood that day and shook us 
by the hands and rushed to his writing desk, seized 



a stuffed bird of paradise, and pressed it into the 
hands of my astonished friend. He hardly spoke at 
all, but we asked him to lunch the next day, which 
was Sunday. One or two people had been invited to 
lunch from Paris to meet him and we waited and 
waited. After nearly an hour late Ronald appeared 
In an ancient barouche which he had hired. He 
refused to eat or to drink and hardly said a word. 
The minute coffee was finished he presented the 
Countess and myself with a copy of his latest book 
and made a dash for the barouche, which he had 
kept waiting, and returned to Versailles. I was 
severely reprimanded for producing an obvious 
lunatic, but Ronald was a person who was so 
temperamental that he could really not be relied 
on to do anything at any stated time. 

In the afternoon Cecile Sorel came to tea with 
" Coco " Chanel, the Couturiere, and Monsieur and 
Madame Van Dongen and several other people. 
Everyone spoke French and after tea we drank 
cocktails and danced. Van Dongen danced with 
Sorel, they both danced marvellously. Van Dongen 
is very tall and very thin, with a long beard. Sorel 
was not very tall but with a most elegant and 
serpent-like figure. Everyone stopped to watch 
them and no one else had the courage to dance. 
The Countess motored me back to Paris the fol 
lowing day. 

A negro night-club had been opened by Bricktop, 
a coloured singer. Her name was explained by 
the fact that as she was not entirely coloured her 
hair was slightly reddish. One night after dinner 



I went with the Countess. It was a gay and lively 
place and many English people who objected to 
spending the night in bed went there as it kept 
open as long as anyone was there. I saw across 
the dance floor, sitting at a table with two South 
Americans, a very beautiful girl. She saw me and 
we stared at each other. I waved to her and she 
waved back to me. This was a most remarkable 
girl who had been at Brangwyns at the same time 
as I had. She was Irish and came from a very 
good family. She was about fifteen and a half 
or sixteen when I had known her first. She aston 
ished and rather frightened the whole Art School. 
I had not seen her for years. Even when she was at 
the Art School she was pursued everywhere by 
men; she was even stopped in the street. She was 
supposed to be engaged to a bourgeois little man whom 
I think she had met at a dance. He was at the time 
engaged to some very dull girl. I think it was out of 
pure devilry and perhaps the feeling of irritation 
that such a silly, stupid woman should have got hold 
of any man that she encouraged him. She was so 
good-looking and attractive that it needed very 
little encouragement, if any. The wretched man 
asked her to marry him and she accepted. Of 
course, she did not care at all for him, and I believe 
that, in despair, at the other girl having refused to 
have him back, he jumped off a Transatlantic liner. 
I used to gaze in admiration at her and wish that 
I was so beautiful. Now that I am so much older I 
wonder if it is such an advantage and think perhaps 
I. am better off as I am. We rushed across the 



(I93 2 ) 


dance floor, nearly upsetting the dancers, and em 
braced each other. She did not look more than 
twenty-two and was marvellously dressed; she had 
two large, real pearl necklaces on, and diamond 
rings. She had been for some years in South 
America and had had so many adventures that she 
said it would take weeks for me to hear them all. 
I had always called her Prudence; we christened 
her by that name at Brangwyns because her con 
duct was so rash. She had been a dancer in South 
America and had danced with Pavlova's troupe. 
She had now become an acrobatic dancer and 
was looking for a job in Paris. She had arrived 
at an hotel with two monkeys and a snake, and 
a very old and wicked-looking Spanish woman, 
who was her maid. The old lady looked exactly 
like the keeper of one of the more sinister "Joints " 
in Montmartre. The hotel did not consider very 
highly the idea of lodging the snake and the mon 
keys, but they said that they could stay for the 
night. The next morning Prudence went out, 
taking with her the maid, who had never been 
to Europe before. When they returned they found 
the whole hotel in an uproar and a miniature 
Niagara Falls pouring down the main staircase. 
The monkeys had got into the bathroom and 
turned on the taps and hidden themselves. The 
snake's behaviour was beyond reproach and it lay 
curled up in an armchair. I introduced her to 
my friends, who were delighted with her. Her de 
scriptions of her adventures were most amusing and 
she did not mind telling them with the fullest detail, 



I must say that I think that the fullest details can 
be told to a select company of sympathetic people, 
but not written down for everyone to read. 

She had just taken an apartment in the Bois de 
Boulogne on the ground floor. It was horribly dark 
and the lights had to be turned on almost the whole 
time. I went to see it the next day. The monkeys 
had a whole room to themselves and lived in a large 
wooden cage that had been made specially for them. 
The snake had disappeared, apparently up a pipe in 
the bathroom. We put mice at the bottom of the 
pipe to try and entice it out, but nothing happened 
except a horrible smell and we think it must have 
stuck inside and died there. She had an instructor 
who taught her acrobatic dancing; he had worked 
in a circus. A mattress was placed in the hall, 
which was large, and she, in a bathing dress, would 
do remarkable feats with her anatomy. We 
christened the instructor Adalbert, because his 
name was Albert. He would roar instructions at 
her. Acrobats are fiends and nearly always want 
everyone else to become one. Prudence and Adal 
bert did their best to induce me to break up my 
extremely well-preserved anatomy, but I firmly re 
fused. I introduced her to many people and they 
all liked her and found her most entertaining. We 
also went about a good deal together and I had a 
wonderful time. 

I saw Pascin from time to time. His studio was 
always filled with the most extraordinary mixture of 
people. He had the genuine descendant of the 
Baron Munchausen, who was a shy young man, 



many Germans, generally some negresses, and 
several artists' models. One day when I arrived a 
terrible battle was in progress between a young lady 
from the south and another one from the north. 
Hair was being pulled out and they had to be 
forcibly separated. There was a very amusing 
young model who came from the north, who was 
known as " Lafille du cure" At any party she would 
always undress. She was quite small in height, had 
long golden hair below her waist, rosy cheeks, and 
a fine and not too much developed figure. She was 
a most charming and unspoilt creature. She had 
been at the Folies Bergeres and danced very well. 
On this occasion there were three very bourgeois 
negresses sitting in a row. Pascin had collected 
them from some place in Montmartre, certainly not 
a night-club, for they were the height of respecta 
bility and looked rather startled at the chaste but 
nude dance of the Fille du cure. Pascin said that 
there was a party that we must all go to, the other 
side of Paris, near the Rue de Vaugirard, and that 
we should take our food with us. We collected string 
bags and baskets and the Fille du curt and the negresses 
and went shopping. We bought sausages, wine, 
olives and ham, and took several taxis, as there were 
about twelve of us. The party was held in a large 
studio. The three negresses sat in a row and said 
nothing. La fille du cure stoked up the fire and re 
moved her clothes. No one took much notice of her 
as we had seen her performances so often. The host 
told us to collect some more people, so several of us 
went to the Dome and the Rotonde. I found there 



a well-dressed young Englishman who had just left 
Oxford. He came along. He looked so respectable 
that we made him dance a tango with La fille. I 
think he felt that he really was starting out on a 
career of adventure. Pascin suggested that we 
should remove the negresses' clothes. We ap 
proached one and induced her to remove her dress. 
She wore purple cotton underclothes and looked so 
dreadful that we urged her to replace it. Parties in 
Paris are always supposed to be so wicked and 
immoral, but I can't say that I have ever, during 
the whole of my career, seen or taken part in any 
thing worse than I have so far described. It is true 
that I have been asked to places where I suspected 
that things would get rather rough and so have 

Pascin asked me to sit for him. He did a portrait 
of me which he did not like and, I think, destroyed 
it. One day I was dining in Montmartre with him 
and some of his German friends. After dinner we 
were sitting in a cafe drinking coffee and he was 
talking about Les Belles Poules, and how he had 
done many drawings there. I said, " What kind of 
place is that? " He said, " Cest un bordel: est-ce 
que vous riavezjamais itt Id? " I had to confess that 
I had not. He said, " Then we will go now. We 
will go back to my studio and get some paper and 
pencils and spend the evening drawing the girls. 35 
The Belles Poules is near the Boulevard Sebasto- 
pol and we went down a long passage. The 
patronne was a most evil-looking old lady, exactly 



like a drawing by Toulouse-Lautrec. The walls 
were covered with tiles, representing the Palais de 
Versailles. Floating on the lakes were swans and 
seated on their backs were nude ladies, clothed only 
in black stockings. This made a strange and rather 
beautiful background for the inhabitants of the 
cafe. A very loud mechanical piano was playing. 
We sat down at a table and the girls stood in a row 
in front of us. Everyone who comes in has to choose 
a girl to drink with and dance with. There were 
about eighteen of them, very heavily painted and 
with very little on. They all wore socks and high- 
heeled shoes. Their hair was most elaborately 
curled and some wore coloured bows of ribbon; it 
would have made a marvellous painting. They 
lined up and said, " Ckoisissez, Monsieur, 'Dame" 
I chose a large, fat one, with red hair and Fascia 
chose a small and I thought, rather disagreeable 
young woman. They said they would like some 
wine. We asked them if we might do drawings of 
them. They were delighted and sat motionless for 
about ten minutes. All the other girls crowded 
round and left their men and insisted on sitting for 
us too. They took each of our drawings, folded them 
up and put them down their socks. They kept their 
money there and, as we explained that we found 
their conversation and company quite sufficient, we 
had to produce ten francs from time to time. At 
12 o'clock we were quite exhausted, I had done 
eighteen drawings. I took a taxi and went home. 
Pascin stayed behind and made friends with the 



red-headed one, who told him the story of her life. 
Poor Pascin is now dead. He became very depressed 
and suffered a lot from his liver and, I think, felt 
that he had worked himself out. He hanged himself 
and cut his throat. 




F. and R. had gone to live in the South of France. 
They had taken a small villa some miles from 
Hyeres, on the coast, and had frequently asked me 
to stay with them. I was generally in debt in Paris 
and could not go, but one day an Englishman came 
over and bought a painting and I wrote to say that 
I would come down. I took a train for Toulon; 
it was, of course, late and I had to take a taxi eventu 
ally from Hyeres. Harry Melvill was staying there 
too. The Villa was owned by an eccentric Professor 
of Harmony from the Sorbonne, Monsieur Koechlin, 
who appeared generally with a sack. There was a 
fat and most wonderful cook and two Russian men 
servants. The only shop was the Post Office, kept 
by Madame Octoban. She was the postmistress and 
had a cafe, also a shop. Round the countryside 
were dotted villas. In order to get to the Post 
Office we had either to walk along the sea-shore or 
along the railway line. A very small train crawled 
along an absurdly small line at the bottom of our 
garden. That was at the back of the house, the 
front looked on the sea. We could bathe from the 
rocks below. F. refused to, as he said that no one 
would admire his figure, but R. and I did, and lay 
about on the rocks in the sun. 

Georges Auric, I knew, was coming to stay after 
Harry Melvill had left, and about a week after my 
arrival he turned up, I had met him often at the 
Boeuf, but I did not know him at all well and re- 



garded him as a rather terrifying person. The day 
after he arrived,, F. and R. had to go to Cannes. 
They had seen a most beautiful old Chateau with 
ninety acres of land, on the top of a hill. It had 
not been inhabited for a long time and was for 
sale. They said that they would be gone for a 
day or so and told Georges and I to take care of 
the house and entertain each other. They left early 
in the morning and I gave one despairing look at 
the fat Georges, and went into the garden and sat 
under the trees amongst the freezias, which were in 
bloom and smelt very nice. I was wondering 
whether or not to just walk away into the landscape 
and not come back at all, when I heard, " Je cherche 
apres Titine " played, not once, but thirty-five times 
on the gramophone. I thought that Georges must 
either be a very interesting person or to have become 
suddenly demented. I returned to the house and 
the Russian butler brought us some cocktails. 
Neither Georges nor I knew how to open the shaker. 
We finally discovered and made some more and by 
the time that lunch appeared we were on very good 
terms. He explained at lunch that he had just come 
from Monte Carlo, where he had been with Diaghi- 
lev, Stravinsky, and the ballet, and had written 
two acts of a new ballet called " Les Matelots" It 
was all about sailors and sounded most interesting. 
He said that he had come to stay with F. to write 
the last act. He said he had so far got no ideas 
about it and was getting rather worried. I said, 
" When we have finished lunch I will teach you all 
my English sea songs, you will soon learn the 



accompaniments and that will give you an inspira 
tion. 35 I whistled him the tunes and in a hour or 
two he could play the accompaniments marvellously 
well. I did a drawing of him playing the piano, 
which eventually appeared in the Burlington Maga 
zine. That night there was an appalling thunder 
storm. Georges was terrified and pulled the blinds, 
and hid in a dark corner with his head covered up. 

The next day F. and R. returned and were 
delighted to find how well we had got on. We 
spent the rest of the day singing the songs to them. 
Georges worked hard at his ballet. He managed 
to weave into it nearly all my songs so cleverly 
that it was almost impossible to detect which 
was which. The finale was most impressive, and 
one could easily recognize " Nautical William/ 3 
Georges said, " If you see Diaghilev don't say any 
thing about the third act!" Later, when I went 
back to Paris I went to the first night, and after the 
ballet, in the promenade, Diaghilev came up to 
me and said, " And how is the fair young lady? " 
which is a quotation out of the song. The ballet 
was a great success and, I think, one of the best of 
the post-war ones. Georges refused either to walk 
or to bathe and spent all day at the piano composing. 

Drieu la Rochelle lived a few miles away and 
came over to see us. He was a most brilliant writer 
and spoke English very well. F., R., and I walked 
daily up and down the railway line. We walked 
one day in the opposite direction to Hyeres. F. 
said there was a place called Le Datier. The 
railway was very near to the sea and all the places 



that it stopped at consisted of just a house or 
two. I asked why Le Datier was particularly 
interesting. He said that there was a very large 
date palm and a very old negro with white hair. 
We got to the station and saw the date palm. Beside 
the palm was a farmhouse and in the farm-yard, 
sitting on the doorstep and feeding the chickens, was 
the old negro. There were a few tables in the yard 
and we sat down to celebrate our arrival. The old 
negro had been in France for years and was married 
to a Frenchwoman. We did not like to ask him if 
he had brought the palm with him from his native 
country as it looked too old. Afterwards we took 
the train back. It rattled horribly and was very 
uncomfortable. When we took our walks along the 
railway line we walked in single file. I went first, 
then F.y and lastly R. F., who was a great expert 
on women and clothes, gave me instruction on how 
to walk. He said that I carried myself well, and 
knew how to wear my clothes, but my principal 
fault was that I swung my arms like a windmill. 
This I endeavoured to correct. 

Our villa had a little stone terrace outside with a 
few steps leading to the garden, which contained 
two orange trees with about half a dozen oranges on 
each of them. We gazed through the window in 
admiration at our beautiful oranges, and as they 
got riper I longed to eat one, but this was strictly 
forbidden. In any case, F. pointed out, they 
would be very sour. One day our landlord ap 
peared with his sack. We went for a walk and when 
we came back we found no landlord and no oranges. 



The cook said that the " Vieux Monsieur " had taken 
them away in his sack. F. and R. had to go to 
Nice to see their tailor and buy various things, 
and as I had to go back to Paris in a few days 
they said that we would all stay at the Hotel West 
minster. I had a room on the front with a bath 
room and they had a room next to mine. 

The Hotel Westminster is filled with nice English 
families, so we did not spend much time there. The 
meeting place for all our friends was Chez Vogade, 
in the Place Massena. Here we saw daily Cocteau, 
Milhaud, Poulenc, Stravinsky and his family. They 
all came to the tailor for their clothes. Stravinsky 
had a wonderful tweed coat of all colours. F. 
ordered a pair of burnt sienna plus-fours, which 
very nearly fitted him. At any rate they were 
all delighted with themselves. I found Frank 
Harris and his wife at Vogade's and had tea with 
them. The next day was the Carnival. It was a 
glorious spectacle with enormous figures of the most 
beautiful colours; I should imagine very much like 
a Roman festival, the sculpture of the figures was 
magnificent. We wore wire masks with faces 
painted on them. On one day of the carnival little 
balls of plaster confetti are thrown by the population 
at each other and anyone else who is there. The mo 
ment the confetti hits you it becomes powder and it 
is extremely dangerous. People have had their eyes 
injured for weeks afterwards. We dined at Caressa's, 
near the Place Massena, and walked round the 
town. We found somewhere in the back streets a 
cafe with the noise of a mechanical piano and went 



in to find French sailors, the cc Marine Militaire " 
dancing. We joined them and bought them drinks. 
R. and I then went to the bar of the Hotel Negresco 
and sat amongst the Americans and English. Un 
fortunately, I had to leave the next day and my 
friends saw me off at the station. I started on 
the dismal return journey to Paris. I had stayed 
nine weeks with my friends who seemed to have 
liked my company and asked me to come back as 
soon as I could. 




THERE were two very nice American boys called 
Ralph Sabatini and Julian Levy. They were friends 
of Frank's and also spoke very good French. We 
spent a lot of our time together; they were both 
talented and very enthusiastic about everything. 
Ralph wanted to do a copy of the Uccello in the 
Louvre. This is the other half of the one in the 
National Gallery, but it is in very bad condition, 
whereas the one in London looks as if it had been 
painted only recently. Ralph bought a canvas half 
the size of the original; this was about eleven feet 
long, and we set it up on an easel in the Louvre. 
The attendant of the room he was working in came 
up to him. On seeing what he was about to do he ex 
plained to him that during his career in the Louvre 
he had seen many people start copying this picture; 
so far, he had never seen anyone finish it. I don't 
know how many times Ralph went to the Louvre, 
but I remember that, one day, Julian and I arrived 
at his studio near the Sorbonne and there it was, 
half finished. We condoled with him and he said 
that he had bought a large number of photographs 
and had already put indications of the colours on the 
canvas and proposed finishing it at home. Julian 
and I were delighted; we said that we would come 
and help him. Julian went out and bought some 
bottles of wine and we all three started. We worked 
away for hours, it was great fun, and it really de 
veloped into a most extraordinary picture. I would 



do a helmet, Ralph would paint the body, and 
Julian would do the legs. It was an imposing pic 
ture, distinctly reminiscent of Uccello, but somehow 
different. Ralph took it back to America with him 
and, I believe, sold it to a museum. Ralph and 
Julian both went back to America, unfortunately, 
and the detachments of Americans sent over got 
steadily worse and worse. 

One day I found Tuohy in Montparnasse. He 
said that he and a friend of his, Kinko, an Irish girl, 
and two other friends were taking a cottage in 
Brittany on an island called Brehat. They asked me 
to join them, but I could not for some reason or 
other. One day the Dingo, where I went often, 
became inundated with most of the crew of the 
American flagship " Pittsburgh They talked to 
everyone, they fought and drank, they ate beef 
steaks with bottles of tomato sauce, and bought 
everyone drinks. All the ladies from miles around 
arrived, and the Quarter brightened up. I made 
friends with a fat electrician, who was charming, 
and made more noise after, as he described them, 
" a flock of ginfizzes," than anyone I had ever 
met. I painted his portrait, which he sent to his 
Mother; he also paid me for it. The sailors who 
did not get fighting drunk I found very amusing, 
and quite different from any other kind of person 
that I had met. My fat friend, if he was not on 
leave at a certain time, would send his friends to me 
to look after. He sent two ridiculous little creatures 
one day, who were about eighteen. I looked after 
them and told them where to go. Even in London 



when I got back in 1926, I found two American 
sailors in their bell-bottomed trousers and white 
hats waiting for me in the Fitzroy Tavern, much 
to the amusement of everybody. I found it rather 
embarrassing as I did not know what to do with 

My friend Prudence was still in Paris and was 
engaged to perform at the Four Hundred Club. 
She worked daily with a pianist in a large room 
which was let out for dancers to rehearse in. I 
went, in the afternoons, to watch her. I went with 
my French friends to see her the first night. She 
looked perfectly beautiful, although I do not really 
like acrobatic dancing; I think it is ugly and un 
gainly. We then went to the Jardin de ma Soeur and 
to Montmartre. 

One day Tuohy and Kinko came from the island 
in Brittany in their two seater Citroen. They said, 
" Come back with us." I took my water-colours 
and a rucksack with a few clothes and got in. One 
of us had to sit on the back of the seat on the folded 
hood. They both drove in turns and one or other 
of them would change places with me. I was de 
lighted with the idea of seeing Brittany again. 
They said that there was no need to hurry and that 
we could take our time and see some of the towns 
on the way. We spent the night at Dreux. Tuohy 
told me that they had invented the " Anti-omelette 
club/ 3 as none of them liked omelettes. The first 
thing to do on arriving at an inn or restaurant was 
to say, before stepping inside, " Pas omelette s'il 
vous plait" He said that, frequently, when motoring 



up the drive, approaching the hotel, you could hear 
them beating up the eggs. At Dreux we had no 
omelettes. We spent the next night at Mayenne, 
which amused me as this was where Edgar had been 
stationed after he left England and I had received 
from him many picture postcards of the place. We 
went further and further north and finally came 
to Paimpol, which was not far away from the island. 
We stopped for a drink and then drove to FArcouest. 
The motor was put into the garage there and we 
took the "Vedette/ 5 a small motor-boat, to the 

Brehat, at this time, was quite unspoilt, and a few 
French people came there year after year. There 
was a hotel and cafe by the port and a comfortable 
hotel with bath-rooms somewhere else. We walked 
down a path as there were no roads and only one 
horse and cart on the island. We came to the 
square where the Town Hall was, a rather battered- 
looking thatched house which was labelled 
" MAIRIE " in stone letters. Just outside the square 
was a rather new cafe. In the square was a covered- 
in terrasse on one side of the path leading to an inn, 
and on the others, chairs and tables under the trees. 
We rested ourselves and I was introduced to Madame 
Balet and her husband, who had been a chef. We 
then walked across the island through flat fields. 
The house was the other side and faced many little 
islets, mostly uninhabited and consisting of yellow 
ish rocks which became as bright and yellow as 
gold when the sun shone. It was a most beautiful 
place. The sea was so blue; I thought a much finer 



blue than the Mediterranean. The whole atmo 
sphere of Brittany reminded me of Wales and I felt 
quite at home there. 

The house was in a row with three or four other 
houses. I slept in a large room underneath the roof 
with beams; it had windows on each of the four 
walls. Our house was surrounded by a small garden 
and not attached to the houses each side. I found 
many subjects to paint and started some water- 
colours. There were some charming French people 
who lived on the island and we had aperitifs with 
them at Madame Balet's before dinner. There was 
Monsieur Negroponte, who was really a British 
subject, having been born in Egypt. He had had a 
son in an English regiment during the War, but he 
could only speak a very little English himself. He 
had been a very good-looking man when he was 
young and still was most amusing and attractive. 
He wore a sailor's peaked cap and a check coat. 
There were some French painters there and a French 
marquis who lived in a chateau near Guingamp, 
not very far away on the mainland. They gave 
dinner-parties at the hotel with enormous fish, 
cooked specially by Monsieur Balet, and to which I 
was sometimes invited. The native women, mostly 
the older ones, wore the national costume. Black 
clothes and enormous black poke bonnets with 
strings under their chins. I did some drawings of 
them. Tuohy wrote most of the day and I drew 
and painted. Sometimes we took the boat to the 
mainland and motored round the countryside. 
Kinko knew Brittany very well and had, in fact, 



written articles on it for papers. The Bretons liked 
us very much and I always said that I was Galloise 
and they said that they were Irlandais. The 
Bretons and Tuohy understood each other perfectly. 
At FArcouest, where the " Vedette " crossed to, 
was a hotel, and we used to have drinks, not with the 
tourists, but in a little side bar where the sailors 
went. The patron had a chien de chasse, a setter, 
of which he was very proud. His wife had a short, 
fat, white dog who wheezed. One day the patron 
went off to faire la chasse, taking both the dogs 
with him. To his horror his famous setter had no 
scent at all and the short fat dog was the success of 
the party. His wife laughed loudly when they came 
home. One day Kinko was expecting some money 
from her Father and, as Tuohy was working, we 
went together to the Post Office, which was near 
the square. She found it waiting for her and spoke 
of three hundred francs. We went to the dull new 
cafe and started to celebrate the event. We had also 
promised to buy the lunch. We arrived home rather 
later than we intended and, after eating, retired to 
rest. During the afternoon Kinko said, " I have 
mislaid my money, perhaps I have dropped it or 
hidden it somewhere." We searched the house and 
could not find it. We consoled ourselves by playing 
Mah Jong. None of us really attained great pro 
ficiency in this game but we liked handling the 
pieces. The next morning I was in the kitchen. 
The fire was not lit and it had not been cleared out 
since the day before. It was an old-fashioned stone 
stove, built into the room with a hole underneath 



with a grating for the ashes to drop through. I saw, 
sticking out, a piece of a five-franc note. I put my 
hand in and there was all the money including a 
five-pound note and several hundred-franc notes, 
some tens, and the five-franc one that had only had 
its edge burnt. This find, of course, called for 
another celebration. Hiding money reminded me of 
the Modigliani hundred-franc note and that ce It's 
an ill wind, etc.," but we were pleased that it was 
us who found it rather than the rather bad-tempered 
and incredibly inefficient charwoman. 

I found an old friend of mine whom I had known 
in London during the war; I had known him with 
Constance Stuart Richardson and Mario Colonna. 
He had been to Spain and had taken the most 
beautiful photographs of Spanish architecture. He 
already knew Tuohy and Kinko but they didn't 
know that I had known him before. He knew 
everyone as he came to the island every year. He 
said that he would come and cook us a Hungarian 
goulash one evening, and told us what we must buy 
and that he would bring the other ingredients with 
him. We spent the day getting food and drink in 
and arranged the whole dinner with different kinds 
of wine. The goulash took a long time to make and 
the smell from the kitchen was terrific. Finally it 
appeared and we all stuffed ourselves. During the 
night we suffered from the effects of the Paprika and 
in the morning felt very ill. It took us three days to 
recover. It was, unfortunately, too hot and too rich 
for us. 

One day a most curious thing happened. We 



were celebrating someone's birthday at Madame 
Balet's and came home rather late. I carried the 
lantern, with which we crossed the island at night, 
because it was completely dark if there was no 
moon and impossible to find the path. I carried a 
ship's lantern; we used it as light in the sitting-room 
as there was no gas or electric light. We crossed 
the fields, and on the other side was a narrow path, 
on one side was the hedge of a garden belonging 
to a house. Suddenly, in the middle of the path, 
we saw two creatures. They were about eight 
inches long, like lizards, with high front legs like 
chameleons. They had broad black-and-yellow 
stripes all over them, long tails, huge eyes that 
they rolled at us and long tongues which shot 
in and out. This really was a startling spectacle 
in the middle of the night, and we all turned rather 
pale and walked on in silence. I went to the cafe 
the next morning by myself, as I had to go to the 
Post Office, and I asked Madame Balet what the 
curious creatures were that we had seen the night 
before. She said that they were Salamanders and 
that it was very rare to see them as the Bretons 
kill them. They are in the arms of Francis I, who 
was the first king to put down the Bretons. 

We bathed from the rocks in front of the house, 
but we had to wait till the tide came up and it was 
about twenty feet deep, so I could only cling on to a 
rock as I could not swim. We bathed also from a 
little beach at the back of the island. This had 
sand and I could go in up to my neck. Tuohy swam 
very well and would swim far away to a rock. One 



day he swam out of his bathing suit. Kinko and I 
stood on the sea-shore and laughed at him as he 
swam after it. 

One morning we decided to do a tour of Brittany 
in the motor. We started off early. We stayed 
the first night at Morlaix, a town which I wanted 
to see, as it was there that Tristan Corbiere lived, 
and I knew his book of poetry, Les Amours Jaunes, 
quite well. Sophia Brzeska read them all the time 
to me when I was with her at Wooton-under- 
Edge. It is rather a beautiful old town with some 
very fine old carved houses. The hotel was very 
expensive and filled with very dull French commer- 
gants. We went to RoscofF, which has been com 
pletely ruined by the English. After Roscoff we 
motored through wild moors and hills. This land 
scape might easily have been Ireland or Wales. 
At Huelgoat is an extraordinary valley with huge 
rocks. They said that they were of volcanic origin. 
There is one particularly large stone which is called 
cc Le Rocher tremblant" This, if pushed in the right 
place, rocks to and fro. The guide could do it but 
we could not. We saw many churches with painted 
wooden sculptures and effigies of the Breton Saints. 
We found a church at Pleyben.with a statue of 
Saint Herbot. He is the patron of cows, and on a 
stone table under his effigy were a collection of 
cows' tails, offerings to him for his kindly services in 
saving their lives from various diseases. Many of 
these statues are of the fifteenth century. In the 
Chapelle de Notre Dame du Huat are the statues of 
six saints in painted wood. They stand in a row: 



Saint Lubin, who deals with every kind of affliction" 
Saint Mamert, who takes upon himself all troubles 
of the stomach, and is seen holding his entrails in 
both hands; Saint Meen, who looks a little " gaga/ 3 
and represents La Folie; Saint Hubert, who gives 
his protection to those who are bitten by dogs; 
Saint Livertin, for the maladies of the head, is re 
presented holding his head with a pained expression 
on his face; lastly. Saint Houarniaule, who pro 
tects people suffering from fright. We visited 
Douarnenez and I took Tuohy and Kinko to see the 
old ladies in the cafe on the Quays. (I wished that 
Frank had been with us.) They remembered us 
both and were most pleased to see us. We went 
to Pont Croix, where all the houses are white with 
grey stones down each side. There is a marvellous 
church porch here. We got to the Point de Raz, 
which is the most western point of France. In 
the distance is the island of Ouessant, in English, 
Ushant. This gave me an unpleasant feeling as I 
remembered the name in connection with history at 
school. This island has two or three hundred in 
habitants, who are very poor indeed, and, until two 
hundred years ago, were pagans. The sea is so 
rough between the island and the Point du Raz that, 
sometimes, it is impossible for them to come ashore 
for months. Even the men in the lighthouse quite 
close to the Point are cut off for weeks at a time. 
We had some wine at the hotel near by and then 
became very courageous and said that we would 
like to walk round the Point. One has to take a 
guide. I was extremely surprised on returning to 



find myself alive. It Is a most terrifying experience. 
We had to walk along a very narrow path. On 
one side of the Point was a whirlpool which churned 
and seethed and the water dashed nearly up to 
our feet. The path was on the edge of a precipice 
with no protection whatever. I ran along it 
quickly, as I really felt as if my last minute had 
come. We asked the guide if people ever fell over 
or got giddy. He said that six had the previous 
year and when once they went overboard they were 
gone for ever, as they were dashed to pieces im 
mediately on the rocks below. We were led on and 
round the end of the Point; we had to cling on to 
rocks and grass. This continued until we were 
nearly completely round the Point. We immediately 
returned to the hotel and had some more wine to 
calm our shattered nerves. 

We came to a strange place with savage dark 
people and strange old ladies, wearing antique 
costumes of, I should imagine, the eighteenth 
century. With difficulty we found someone who 
spoke French. The place was called Ploneour. 
Outside the church was the funniest War Memorial 
that I have ever seen. It must have been sculptured 
by the local stone-cutter. It represented two soldiers 
standing each side of a tablet, on which were 
written a list of the names of the dead. The two 
soldiers were identical and were exactly like the 
wooden soldiers in the song. I wish I could have 
taken a photograph of it or that I had had time to 
do a drawing. We came to another strange place 
called He Tudy. Here the origin of the people 



appears to be unknown. They are very dark and 
unlike the Bretons. It becomes an Island at high 
tide. We went to Benodet and had to cross a river. 
To do this one had to take a large ferry boat. We 
drove the car into it and as we were waiting for it to 
start I did a drawing of the opposite bank, with 
large trees, a white hotel, and a red gipsy caravan. 
I painted it when we got home and was quite 
pleased with it. We passed through La Foret, 
which is a very pretty place with the slowest hotel 
in the world. It is true that in France if you, do not 
arrive between stated hours you have to go hungry. 
We only asked for bread and cheese and cider and 
we had to wait about an hour, which was very bad 
indeed for our tempers. Our tempers were mar 
vellous and even when we had punctures and break 
downs and lost our way we never got cross with one 

We spent the night at Concarneau. The line of 
old ladies and gentlemen were still there and gave 
me the appearance of never having moved since the 
last time I saw them. I noticed that their painting 
had made no visible progress. I expect they are still 
painting. We stayed the night in a hotel overlook 
ing the fortress, which looked beautiful with the 
grey reflections of its walls on the blue waters. We 
had one look at Pont Aven and Kinko and Tuohy 
thought that it was as dull as Frank and I had found 
it. We found ourselves at Hennebont. It had a 
fine fortress and was free from foreigners. We 
visited a cafe and found there all the maids of 
the opposite hotel. They seemed never to have seen 



anything like us before or, in fact, to have encoun 
tered any English. We entertained them and our 
selves to Vermouth Cassis, which seemed to mount 
to their heads with great rapidity. They got very 
talkative and most confidential, and we became 
rather nervous in case the angry patron, or worse 
still, patronne, of the hotel came and objected to us 
leading the staff astray. We rapidly entered our 
motor and drove away before trouble took place. 
We were punished for this disgraceful behaviour 
and, on the road to Auray, had three punctures and 
arrived all in the vilest of tempers. We found a 
horrible hotel all got up in oak and plates on the 
walls like something that is labelled in England, 
" Ye olde," etc. With difficulty we got some food 
and hurried rapidly away to Vannes where we 
spent the night in a very good and inexpensive 
hotel. We had been on the road four days and had 
not lost much time, but the money was getting very 
short and we had to hurry. We left early the next 
morning and as we were nearing home we had a 
puncture. There was enough money to pay a man 
to mend it and we arrived home with exactly four 
francs. I don't think the whole tour had cost more 
than four hundred francs for the three of us. I had 
done quite a lot of work, nothing very large or 
important, but some drawings of sailors and some 
very nice water-colours of the island. For about 
thirty or forty years bad painters from all nations 
had found the island a paradise of " pretty " sub 
jects. I thought the subjects were pretty too, but 
oddly enough, seemed to find different ones from 



the old gentlemen and old ladies who, I expect, 
would have been horrified. I had been on the island 
for five weeks and had to return to Paris. Tuohy 
and Kinko motored me to Vannes, where we spent 
the night at the hotel and I took the train from there 
to Paris. On my way to Paris I saw one of the most 
beautiful sights that I have ever seen. As the train 
approached Chartres there was a large plain, with 
corn that was just ready for cutting. It was about 
seven-thirty and a most perfect evening. The sun 
had nearly set and all the corn was a bright golden 
colour. The sky was purple and suddenly, on the 
horizon, I saw, first one and then the other spire of 
the cathedral of Chartres rising slowly out of the 
field of yellow corn. The spires of Chartres are both 
different and one is taller than the other. 

I felt very bored with Paris. I met a very nice 
man called Dreydell, he is now also dead, as so 
many people in this book are. He bought some 
drawings of mine and took me to the Boeuf and to 
Montmartre. I saw the Dowager Lady Michelham 
at the Boeuf. She was with Ethel Levy and she in 
troduced me. I talked a great deal of rubbish but 
they didn't seem to mind and gave me some cham 
pagne. I met with Lady Michelham several very 
nice Americans, including Jeff Crane and his 
cousins, the Pattersons, who came from Dayton, 
Ohio. He had a friend called Jeff Dodge, who had 
a beautiful apartment in the Boulevard St. Ger 
main. It had a garden, and instead of flowers in the 
flower beds there was planted thick ivy. In the 
middle was a fountain with a Cupid. We sat in the 



garden when I visited him and drank cocktails. 
He had the most beautiful furniture and pots filled 
with flowers and leaves carved in Chinese jade, 
some of which had come from temples in China. 
These Americans were very kind to me and bought 
drawings and Jeff Dodge asked me to paint his 
portrait. I started it quite well but I forget why I 
never finished it. Perhaps it will be like the portrait 
of the Old Master who painted a gentleman when 
young and then, thirty years later, added grey hair 
and some wrinkles, and I will finish it when I am 

A grand birthday party was given in an Ameri 
can's flat and I was asked for some unknown reason. 
I arrived in my workman's trousers, dressed as an 
apache. The butler looked rather alarmed, but the 
guests liked it. I had three hundred francs in my 
pocket. We had a magnificent dinner with cham 
pagne and brandy and danced, and about two a.m. 
I left. I went to a cochers 5 restaurant near the 
Gare Montparnasse, which the inhabitants of the 
Dome visited after two a.m., to eat soup a roignon. 
I thought that I might find someone that I knew. 
The patron knew me and the inhabitants were 
delighted. The clientele: chauffeurs, workpeople, 
apaches and the ladies from the neighbouring 
houses. The ladies wore bedroom slippers, no hats, 
and shawls. I sat down with them and drank white 
wine and ate snails. By this time the wine had gone 
to my head and, as two policemen had come in and 
were drinking at the bar, the patron asked them if 
they would be kind enough to see me home, as I only 


lived a few doors away. The policemen were much 
amused and both offered me their arms. I gave them 
a few francs and they left me at my hotel. If anyone 
is behaving in an eccentric fashion and obviously 
enjoying themselves, I have always found the 
French willing to join in the fun. Of course, now 
and then foreigners 5 perfectly innocent intentions 
have been mistaken, and everyone has ended " au 

Jeff and I used to go out for terrific evenings in 
Montmartre. We would put on our best clothes 
and dine at some grand place and then " do " the 
mountain. One night, very late, almost five-thirty 
in the morning, we went to a negro cabaret and 
restaurant. It was kept by a very pale negress and 
her husband, who was very black. We had some 
champagne and Jeff said to Palmer, the husband, 
" Well, Palmer, it's a curious thing, every day 
Florence gets whiter and whiter and every day you 
get blacker and blacker." And Palmer said respect 
fully, " Yea, Mr. Crane." 

I had met at Pascin's a little clown called " Char 
ley," he was at the Cirque de Paris. He had a 
partner and they were funny at times. I was dis 
cussing him with Iris Tree one day and said, " It's 
a curious thing that Charley has not made a greater 
success." And Iris said that, " If you were going to 
be a clown at all you had either to be very funny 
and original indeed or not a clown at all." At any 
rate he was a most amusing companion. He had 
crossed America several times with circuses on the 
road. He spoke five or six languages and, I believe, 



was actually a Belgian Jew. He was often with 
Pascin and his friends. He collected pictures, which 
he succeeded in wangling out of painters. He has 
one of mine which he acquired in a very artful 
manner. I was with an American judge one evening 
and we went to the circus. Charley was really funny 
on that occasion and extremely vulgar. We went 
round to his dressing-room, which was a wonderful 
place. It had all his properties hanging upon the 
wall. An enormous cardboard razor and a pair of 
imitation breasts made of papier mache, which hung 
up on a string and a miniature fire engine, a 
miniature hearse, which was used for the funeral of 
a flea (I forget how this tragedy took place), and an 
imitation Turkish bath, in which a body was taken 
out boiled to death. Sometimes, if Charley was in 
a good temper, he would give one some relic with 
which one could play awful jokes on one's friends. 
We asked Charley to come to Montmartre with us 
after the show. He came with us during the interval 
in his costume to have a drink at the bar of the cir 
cus. Descamps, Carpentier's trainer, was nearly 
always there and all kinds of sporting people. We 
sat up at the bar and bought Charley and the other 
clowns drinks. I found the circus people most charm 
ing and unpretentious. They are a most cosmopoli 
tan race and they all speak so many languages that it 
is difficult to know which race they belong to. After 
the performance we collected Charley and took a 
taxi to Montmartre. When we got into the taxi 
Charley found on the floor a garment of some kind, 
and when we passed a bright light, Charley held it 



up and we saw that it was a black female coat with a 
cape attached, very fashionable at the moment. 
Charley said, " You can have it if you give me a 
picture in return/ 3 and I said, " All right! " I 
rather regretted it afterwards, as Charley came to 
my place and chose a very nice oil-painting. He 
had paintings by half the well-known artists in Paris, 
which he had wangled one way and another. There 
was a story of a very famous painter who was a ter 
rible drunkard. His pictures are now worth thousands 
of francs. He will give them away if he is not 
prevented from doing so. He lives in Montmartre 
with his Mother and his stepfather. He is one of 
those unfortunate people who, like my Australian 
soldier, simply cannot drink a drop, without having 
to continue. A friend of mine was at his house one 
evening and Charley came in. She noticed that his 
pockets rather bulged. He went out of the room 
and then came back. Presently loud shrieks were 
heard. These were from the unfortunate painter 
who, although a man of nearly fifty, was being 
unmercifully beaten by his stepfather for having 
exchanged a picture for a bottle of drink. This 
poor painter had a miserable life. One night he 
was found by Rubezack, wandering in the Rue de 
Vaugirard, in the pouring rain terribly drunk with 
carpet slippers on and no hat or coat. Rubezack, 
who was quite penniless, led him to the Rotonde in 
the hopes that he would find a picture-dealer or 
some kind person to pay the taxi to Montmartre. 
Several dealers refused, although they had made 
for times out of his pictures. Finally a collection was 



made amongst the artists and Rubezack, my Pole, 
and someone else took him back to his Mother's 
house. His Mother was very grateful to them and 
offered each of them one of his water-colours in 
return for their kindness, but they said they were 
old friends of his and refused to accept anything. 
I am afraid that I should have taken one as they 
are very beautiful and I have always wanted to buy 

Van Dongen I saw sometimes at the Countess A's. 
He and his wife gave receptions every Monday even 
ing. He had an enormous house and two studios. 
He and his wife sent me a permanent invitation to 
come every Monday. I was delighted as it gave me 
the opportunity of showing off all my grand evening- 
dresses. I had nine at this time. I knew that the 
person whom Van Dongen must meet was Prudence 
and that he would love to paint her. I went by 
myself the first week and when I got there Van 
Dongen said, " Look what I have got for your 
benefit, " and I looked up to the gallery and there 
were the musicians from a Bal Musette. One man 
with an accordion with bells on his ankles and a man 
with a violin. These bands are wonderful to dance 
to as their sense of time is perfect, and the French 
workpeople dance so well. At one time Ford hired 
a Bal Musette once a week and invited his friends, 
but it ended in a disturbance between the intellec 
tuals who wanted to talk and the dancers who wanted 
to dance and to drink. Van Dongen's parties were 
the best that I have ever been to. There was plenty 
of champagne, the only drink to have at a party. 



Unfortunately there are those that it makes ill, but 
I think that they are in the minority. There were 
the most beautiful and elegant collection of women 
I have ever seen. One South American had a 
Lanvin dress of white silk with an enormous white 
bow, edged with black, that covered nearly the 
whole of her skirt and looked like a huge butterfly. 
Van Dongen introduced me to a few people, includ 
ing a most charming Frenchman who wrote a great 
deal about the discoveries of Glozel and the tremen 
dous controversy there was about them. He sat 
with me and pointed out all the celebrities and in 
troduced me to anyone I wanted to meet. There 
was an electric gramophone and a Breton singer, a 
woman who sang Breton songs and was very cele 
brated on the music halls. Andre Warnod was there 
with his wife. I told Van Dongen about Prudence 
and the monkeys and how beautiful she was, and he 
asked me to bring her and ask her to dance. She 
came with her dancing clothes and her accompanist. 
Most of the audience sat on the floor. She was an 
enormous success. If she had done nothing except 
stand still and smile she would have brought any 
house down. The women were most enthusiastic. 
I have found that Frenchwomen suffer much less 
from jealousy of other women than most other 
races. If I happened to look rather better than 
usual or had a dress that suited me they would 
crowd round me and be so sweet and kind. I think 
it is really because they are so sure of themselves and 
the idea that they should have a rival in any shape 
or form never enters their very elegant heads. Any- 



way I have always been devoted to them and wish 
there were more of them over here. One evening I 
brought Peter Johnstone, who is now Lord Derwent, 
with me. He had a most terrific success, especially 
as he spoke such excellent French. I also brought 
an American opera-singer who sang. I think in the 
end, as so often happens,, Van Dongen's hospitality 
was abused by " gate crashers/ 5 and the parties came 
to an end. Madame Van Dongen is one of the most 
charming and most elegant women I have ever met, 
and I had the pleasure of seeing her quite often 
when she was in London a few years ago and show 
ing her a few of the sights. Van Dongen painted a 
portrait of Prudence. It was an enormous canvas, 
I should think over life-size, in a green satin dancing 
dress and a green satin top-hat. I sat behind him 
and drew his back. He looks very funny when he 
paints. He wears a hat and a long black coat like 
a house-painter. He begins a portrait by drawing it 
in charcoal; in one hand he holds a large feather 
duster with which, now and then, he dusts the 
charcoal off and corrects the drawing. The extra 
ordinary sureness with which he applied the colour 
astounded me and I began to think that if I sat 
behind him and watched long enough I should also 
become a society portrait painter. The portrait was 
exhibited at the Salon. 

One day I went to F. and R/s flat and found 
Radiguet, Yvonne George, Cocteau, Marie Beer- 
bohm and several other people, and we had some 
cocktails. I sat and talked to Radiguet. He 
asked me when I was going to draw him. I had 



arranged for him to sit some time before, but he had 
not come. I said that I would some day soon. Ten 
days afterwards I heard that he was dead. He had 
been taken ill at Foyot's, where he had been staying; 
a doctor had not been sent for until he had already 
got pneumonia and a few days later he was taken 
to a nursing-home. The following day his Father 
had arrived and the door was opened by a hospital 
nurse, who said, " Est-ce que vous voulez vow votre fils, 
il est dans le mortuaire? " Radiguet was the eldest of 
the children and adored by his Father and his 
brothers and sisters, and it was a terrible shock. 
Marie Beerbohm told me of his death and asked me 
if I would go with her to his funeral. We did not 
look forward to it as we knew that it would be a 
very sad affair. This was in the month of Novem 
ber, and one morning at nine I fetched Marie and 
we went to the church, which was near the Etoile. 
It was foggy and raining. The church was filled 
with white flowers and near the altar was the raised 
platform, waiting for the coffin. The church was 
crowded with people. In the pew in front of us was 
the negro band from the Boeuf sur le Toit. Picasso 
was there, Brancusi, and so many celebrated people 
that I cannot remember their names. Radiguet's 
death was a terrible shock to everyone. " Coco " 
Chanel, the celebrated dress-maker, arranged the 
funeral. It was most wonder fully done. Cocteauwas 
too ill to come. We waited some minutes for the 
arrival of the body, in its white coffin, covered with 
white flowers; it was carried up the aisle and placed 
on the platform. After a short service we walked 



round the coffin and shook the Holy Water over the 
coffin, the men walking one side and the women the 
other. We could hardly see, as Marie and I and 
everyone else's eyes in the church were filled with 
tears. We had to walk round the church and shake 
hands with the relatives. It was the most tragic 
sight that I have ever seen. Radiguet's Father and 
Mother were there, and then his four little brothers 
and sisters, the youngest being about six, stood in a 
row, their faces contorted with weeping. Marie and I 
burst into tears and went out into the street to see 
the procession start off. The hearse was covered in 
white and was drawn by two large white horses, 
like those in the war picture by Uccello in the 
National Gallery. They stood patiently and waited. 
The coffin was carried out with its white pall, and on 
it was one bunch of red roses. Many wreaths were 
carried out, and by the time the procession started 
the white hearse and a carriage following were cov 
ered with white flowers. We walked down the 
boulevard, following the procession, and waited and 
watched the hearse and the long train of mourners 
disappear into the distance on their way to Pere 
Lachaise. It was not yet ten o'clock and still pouring 
with rain. Fortunately, in Paris, the cafes are open 
all the time, so we went to the Cafe Francis, which is 
near the theatre Champs Elysees, drank some 
brandy, and sat silently gazing at the rain. Cocteau 
was terribly upset and could not see anyone for 
weeks afterwards. I wrote to him in February and 
asked him if I could come and see him. He wrote 
me a charming letter: 



" z^fevrier 1924, 

Je suis toujours trh malade et sans courage. 
Telephone^ un matin. 

De c&ur, 


I went to see him and he had grown thin and worn. 
One day I received a cheque for a painting. It 
was in American dollars and I asked Harold 
Stearns where I could cash it. Harold said, " Gome 
with me." We went to the other side of the river to 
a bank and cashed it. I think it was for about eight 
hundred francs. We visited the New York Bar and 
Henri's Bar and drank champagne cocktails, which 
certainly went to my head. Harold was not 
affected, as he had one of those heads which are only 
to be found attached to the bodies of Americans 
whose families have been in America for not less 
than two hundred and fifty years and want some 
" hitting." We came back to the Dome in a taxi 
and a friend of his met me inside and said, " I am 
with Leonard Merrick and a friend of his, and 
they have come to find you." I didn't know him 
but, of course, had read his books. Apparently my 
friend did not know him either and he had heard 
that I was a desperate character and was to be 
found at the Dome. I introduced myself and he 
introduced me to his friend, who was Edith Evans, 
who has since become a famous actress. I Said, " I 
am awfully sorry but I am afraid that I have had 
too many champagne cocktails and may fall asleep 



or scream, will you meet me here to-morrow? " 
They were charming and said that they would and 
I was conveyed home to bed. I saw him several 
times, and the day he left Paris I had luncheon with 
him and he gave me a hundred francs and asked me 
if I would buy myself some flowers. I did, but a 
very small bunch, and lived in comfort for the rest 
of the week. I have never seen him since but hope, 
perhaps, that he will see this book and know that I 
have not completely vanished. 

I don't much like writing about funerals, but I 
shall have to because Erik Satie died and I thought 
that I ought to go to his. He lived at Arcueuil with 
his umbrellas and was to be buried there in the 
village church. I took a train on the morning of 
the funeral at the Gare d 3 Orleans by myself. On 
the platform waiting for the train was the painter 
Ortiz de Zarate. I found that he was going to the 
funeral too and so we got into the same carriage; 
I was glad to have someone to go with. When 
we got to Arcueuil we asked the way to the church, 
which was about ten minutes' walk. The ceremony 
had already begun. The church was filled, there 
were politicians and all the Boeuf, Brancusi, Cocteau, 
Moise, Valentine and Jean Hugo, Yvonne George, 
Wassilieff, all Les Six, and the Ecole d 5 Arcueuil, 
Erik Satie's own school of musicians, of which 
Sauguet is the only one whose name I can re 
member. This was the second funeral I had 
gone to, and, although it was very sad, as I missed 
my afternoon seances with Satie at the Dome, 
he was an old man and had lived his life and 



had had a lot of fun, it was not so tragic as that of 
Radiguet, who was so young. After the service 
we started for the cemetery, which was about a mile 
away. The men followed on foot first, walking four 
abreast. There must have been at least fifteen 
hundred people present. Afterwards walked the 
women. Yvonne George, Valentine Hugo, Wassilieff 
and myself headed the procession. There were 
many very respectable French bourgeoises, all dressed 
in deep mourning. These I found out afterwards 
were the wives of all the keepers of cafes in Arcueuil 
where Satie had had aperitifs. At the cemetery we 
stood by the graveside and saw the coffin laid in the 
grave and shook the relatives by the hand and went 
back to Paris. I had a most beautiful letter from 
Satie that he wrote me on one occasion when I asked 
him to come to a ball that I was arranging with some 
Americans. I said that I would " dance like the 
devil " for his benefit. Alas! he could not come as 
it was a very late affair. He answered my letter 
and said that he was sure that it was impossible 
for me to " Dance like the devil " as I was 
" beaucoup trop gentitte" Unfortunately, I have 
lost it. 

I was at this time very broke and very gloomy. 
F. and R. asked me to stay with them in their 
castle and I very much wanted to go. I was in 
pawn at my hotel and could not move, so had to 
wait patiently until something turned up. A very 
nice Englishman, Dreydell, turned up whom I had 
met before. He suggested that I should have an ex 
hibition in London that he would arrange for me to 



Drawing in the possession, of Philip G&sse. 


have at the Claridge Gallery, in Brook Street. I had 
a good many oil-paintings that I had never exhibited 
before, and quite enough for a good exhibition. He 
bought a still life of mine and paid me twelve hun 
dred francs. I was delighted and wired immediately 
to F. that I was arriving at any moment. I paid 
the hotel bill and felt very light-hearted and free 
again. The next day I caught a violent cold and 
that evening had to go to bed with a high tempera 
ture. I was living alone at that time in the Rue 
Campagne Premiere. In the same hotel lived three 
people who were charming, but generally spent 
every night dancing and drinking in Montmartre, 
arriving home at seven or eight in the morning. 
They generally bounced into my room to inform 
me of the scandals of the night, which they managed 
to hiccough out. At seven a.m. they arrived in 
evening-dress. I said I was very ill. They were 
very upset and brought me -a bottle of brandy and 
tottered off to their beds. I looked at it and decided 
that I should, on the whole, prefer a lingering death 
rather than a sudden one and went to sleep. I 
managed to sleep all day and at six-thirty a doctor 
friend of mine happened to call and see me. He 
gave me one look and said, " Have you any money? " 
I gave him fifty francs and he went out and bought 
various pills, potions, and appliances, and within 
ten minutes my temperature was considerably less. 
By this time my neighbours had come to, and 
were appalled to think that they had not fetched a 
doctor in the morning. I suggested that they should 
have some brandy; and console themselves as it 



wasn't really very serious. The same evening the 
doctor came to see how I was, and he and a friend 
of mine finished the brandy and staggered home 




I BEGAN to pack my things and think about the 
South of France. The Pole saw me off at the station. 
I armed myself with a bottle of red wine. The train 
was full and the only seat I could find (I travelled, 
of course, third class), was in a carriage filled with 
French sailors. In the corner was a very small 
ginger-haired French soldier. I sat down in a 
corner. The sailors opened their bottles and offered 
me some wine. We then all drank together. They 
were all Bretons and we talked about Brittany. 
Next to me was a very good-looking, golden-haired 
sailor, who got very drunk, and, after making an 
unsuccessful attempt to kiss me, fell asleep with his 
head on my lap. I felt slightly embarrassed but 
thought it better to remain still, hoping that even 
tually he would become conscious and that I could 
change my position. The other sailors and the little 
soldier were already asleep and I lay my head 
against the window and slept too. About five in the 
morning I woke up and from the opposite corner of 
the carriage the soldier spoke to me in the most 
perfect " Oxford English." I thought, " Good God! 
He probably knows all kinds of people that I do and 
here am I with a sailor asleep with his head on my 
lap/ 3 I asked him why he spoke English and he told 
me that he had been brought up in England and 
that his Father was a Frenchman, and he, being a 
French subject, had to do his Service Militaire. He 
had been in Egypt before in some kind of political job 



and had to leave it to join the Army. He said that 
the food was very bad but his family gave him 
money so that he could feed himself. He was per 
fectly charming and at Toulon the sailors got off, 
feeling rather ill and bad-tempered, and the soldier 
and myself continued, standing in the corridor, talk 
ing and looking at the landscape. When I arrived 
at Cannes, my friends were waiting for me on 
the platform. The soldier got out and I intro 
duced him to them. We asked him to have a drink 
with us but he had to wait for another train to 
take him to Nice and had not got time. F. was 
not at all surprised to see me with a French soldier, 
as he is one of those sensible people who are not 
at all surprised at anything. 

I was very dirty indeed and I had some food at 
the Cafe de Paris, which is, or was I think it no 
longer exists opposite the Casino. We then 
motored to the house, which was on the road to 
Grasse, but about two miles from the main road. 
It was a most beautiful old house, built about 1802, 
on a hill surrounded by mimosa trees, which were in 
full bloom. The yellow flowers in the sunlight were 
so bright and dazzling that one had to blink one's 
eyes for a few seconds before one could see. In the 
front of the house was a hilly lawn with some big 
trees. The whole lawn was covered in the biggest 
and sweetest smelling violets that I have ever seen. 
There were several farmhouses on the estate, quite 
near the house, surrounded by olive trees and 
a small, strangely shaped, and very fat donkey with 
an enormous head. I did not get on very well with 



It as, whenever I sat outside and attempted to draw, 
it would lay Its head on my lap or try and swallow 
the Indian ink. There was also a tame sheep which 
was very fond of walking into the drawing-room 
and tucking itself up comfortably on the sofa. This 
had to be discouraged in wet weather as it did not 
wipe its feet. I had the most beautiful bedroom 
with a large and very comfortable bed. I also had 
a bathroom to myself and a kind lady came and 
asked me if I wanted any mending done. I felt that 
at last I had arrived in Paradise. The house had a 
wide winding staircase. The rest of the house had 
been painted with coloured patterns which, unfor 
tunately, had disappeared, principally owing to the 
damp. At the back of the house was a lake filled with 
fish and a small and very beautiful island with mi 
mosa trees on it. On the far side was a bed of irises. 
We were on the top of a steep hill and the ground 
sloped down. The other side of the pond, behind 
the irises, which could be seen from the house, we 
could see in the distance the sea, and at night the 
Esterelle. At one side of the house was a valley and, 
in the distance, more and bigger mountains. These 
had snow on the top of them, and in the early mom- 
ing were the most wonderful colour. Near the house 
was a pear-tree in bloom. I think I have already 
mentioned that near Paris, there were orchards 
filled with pear blossoms which I never had the 
courage to paint; but every day I looked at this 
tree and determined to try. For the background 
there were trees on the hill as it sloped towards the 
valley, and over their tops were the distant snow- 



capped mountains and the blue sky. To my sur 
prise I found that blossom was very much easier to 
paint than many other subjects and it turned out 
to be, I think, one of my best pictures. Even F. 
liked it. It is now in the collection of Roy Randall. 
We had breakfast in our pyjamas and dressing- 
gowns and then walked about the estate accom 
panied by a very fat white mongrel, which waddled 
and wheezed, and was called Zezette. Poor 
Zezette very much shocked the smart French people 
who visited us, as they expected that F., with 
such a fine chateau, would have, if not Borzois in 
attendance, at least Alsatians or something rather 

I worked in the morning and afterwards we sat 
in the sun and drank cocktails till lunch. The 
cook was a fat Frenchwoman and I have never eaten 
so much or such good food. I felt myself growing 
fatter every day, which indeed I was. I am afraid 
that I slept generally during the afternoon. Every 
evening I insisted on putting on one of my nine 
evening-dresses, and had great pleasure in sweeping 
up and down the wide staircase and imagining that 
I was rich. F. would put his head out of his sitting- 
room now and then and hand out instructions on 
the subject of deportment. F. and R. never worried 
about changing and generally had dinner in their 
ordinary clothes and espadrilles. After dinner we 
sat in a little room which has now, I believe, a 
mosaic floor designed by Picasso. F. would discourse 
on life and the beastliness of the human race and 
R. and I would listen. Once I inadvertently men- 



tioned my admiration for Marie BashkirtsefF as a 
person, and was so shaken by the torrent of abuse 
that I received from F., that I had recourse to the 
brandy-bottle for a few minutes to recover. I think, 
and still do, that F. is the most intelligent person that 
I have ever met. He seemed to have read everything 
that had ever existed. I had the sense to make notes 
of many of his views and of all the books that he men 
tioned, all of which I shall certainly not live long 
enough to read. We read Fantomas, that series of 
French cc bloods " in forty-two volumes, all of which 
Max Jacob and Cocteau have read. F. drew most 
beautifully and did two paintings of me which 
he never actually finished because he decided that 
he could not attain to the perfection of his original 
conception. He might have been a great artist if 
he had not been so intelligent and so critical. R. 
was a portrait painter of considerable talent and had 
had a good deal of success in Paris and, in fact, had 
made quite a lot of money, but being so far from 
anywhere and managing the estate, he did not paint 
very much. 

We motored into Cannes one morning to do some 
shopping and have some cocktails at a large hotel 
on the Promenade. It was filled with English and 
Americans; one could easily pick out the English as 
they all sat with small bottles of champagne in front 
of them instead of cocktails, a habit of which I 
thoroughly approved. F. heard from Francis 
Poulenc to say that he was coming to Cannes to stay 
with his Tante Lena, who was eighty, and F. 
wrote and asked him to stay with us for a few weeks. 


I knew him quite well and was delighted, as he was 
most amusing and intelligent, as all Les Six were. 
We went to Cannes to fetch him from his Aunt's 
house. He had a room next to mine. It was a small 
room papered with the most wonderful eighteenth- 
century wall-paper, with a landscape continuing all 
round the walls. It looked like a Henri Rousseau 
and had large snakes and huge trees and alligators 
coining out of the water. F. was very proud of 
this room as it had a wicker bed. I believe that it 
was actually very uncomfortable, but F. showed it 
to everyone with great pride. 

Poulenc composed all the morning; I painted the 
pear-tree and F. came and gave first Poulenc, 
and then myself, advice on our respective arts. It 
was delightful to paint in the sun and hear pleasant 
music at the same time, and I was perfectly happy. 
I taught Poulenc some of my songs, which he in 
vented accompaniments to, and I sang them some 
times to the French people who visited us. Poulenc 
was terrified of birds and one morning, at about five 
o'clock, I heard a knock on my door, and there was 
Poulenc, who said, " Venez ici y faipeur" and under 
the water-pipes of his room was a fluttering sparrow, 
which he could not bear to pick up. I put my hand 
underneath and took it out and threw it out of the 
window. By this time the cook, who slept under 
neath, had heard voices and poked her head out of 
the window. She looked up in astonishment and 
saw our frightened faces and the fluttering spar 

We went to Grasse one day and found Nicole 



Groult, the dressmaker, and Madame Jasmy van 
Dongen. They arranged a luncheon-party at the 
hotel, which we went to. There were only French 
people present and we had a wonderful time. 
Poulenc and I found some gambling machines in the 
bar of the hotel and proceeded to lose francs until 
we were dragged away by F. and R. Grasse is 
a dreadful place and smells of bad scent. I asked 
Poulenc to sit for me, which he did, for an hour 
every day. I thought that he should wear a button 
hole, and we all walked round the estate to choose 
a flower of a suitable colour. The ground was 
covered with wild anemones of all colours and I 
chose a pinkish purple one, which looked well on a 
grey-green suit. The portrait was a very good like 
ness but a drawing I did I liked better. The drawing 
was reproduced in the Burlington Magazine some years 
ago, with one of Auric also. 

Madame Porel, the daughter-in-law of Rejane, 
came to lunch one day. She was very chic and very 
nice. Harry Melvill was staying in Cannes at the 
time and came over frequently to see us. One day 
he came to lunch and said that he had just been to 
see Monsieur Patou, the dressmaker, and that Mon 
sieur Patou had been talking about the Queen. We 
asked what he had said, and Harry said, " He said 
that the Queen was forty-seven, and I said, c But 
Monsieur Patou, the Queen must be more than 
forty-seven/ and Monsieur Patou said, c I am not 
talking about her age, I am talking about her 
bust. 3 " When Harry talked about the happenings 
of the evening before, or the present time, he was 


very funny, but he had a large stock of old stories 
that got a little wearying after a time. 

My birthday is on the same day as F.'s, but 
he is older than I am. It is Valentine's day, the 
fourteenth of February, and he arranged a birthday 
party. We asked Harry Melvill, a French Countess 
and her husband, and a tall and distinguished 
Englishwoman who was staying at Cannes, and we 
hired a waiter from the hotel at Grasse. The waiter 
proved to be quite mad and very inefficient. 
Speeches were made and we drank a magnum of 
champagne and walked and talked in the garden 
afterwards. One day we went to Nice to see 
Monsieur Gentilhomme, the tailor. We went to 
Vogade's, where we found Honegger and Stravin 
sky. Stravinsky had to be fitted at the tailor's and 
we all went round there, where he was to meet his 
wife and children. He had with him two little 
pictures that he had just had framed. They were 
sewn in needlework and designed by his two small 
daughters. They were very beautifully drawn and 
he was very proud of them. His eldest son came to 
meet him with his Mother. F., R., and I went back 
to Vogade's and talked to Honegger. We asked 
Stravinsky and his wife to lunch with us at Faletto's, 
a restaurant on the road from Nice to Monte 
Carlo, in a week's time. A few days later a motor 
car arrived at our house and Stravinsky and his 
son appeared. This was before dinner. We always 
had a tin of caviare presse which I had to spread 
thinly on toast. Stravinsky seized a spoon and 
dug spoonfuls out of the tin and then played on 



our harmonium the fair tune out of Petrouchka. 
They stayed to dinner, Stravinsky sat beside me and 
presented me with a glass cigarette holder. 

Picabia, the Dadaist, lived not far away from us 
and we went with Harry Melvill to his house. The 
house was so full of things, ornaments, pictures, 
furniture, that it was almost impossible to move 
without upsetting something. He came to lunch 
with us and brought with him Marthe Chenal, the 
famous opera-singer. She sang the c c Marseillaise ' * on 
the steps of the Madeleine during the War, and had 
a wonderful voice. She was the most magnificent- 
looking creature, very tall, with a wonderful figure 
and a beautiful and very animated face, with curious 
purplish-red Medusa-like curls all over her head. 
Poulenc tried to induce her to sing, but she would 
not, but asked us all to a box at the Casino at 
Cannes, where she was playing cc Carmen." Poulenc 
sang his latest songs which were composed for the 
words of some old and rather naughty French 
poems of the sixteenth and seventeenth century, 
which delighted Chenal, and I was finally induced 
to sing my sailor songs which Poulenc played for me. 
Poulenc's Tante Lena was invited to the Opera also 
and asked us if we would like to come and dress 
at her flat at Cannes. She was the sweetest old lady 
I have ever met, very active and talkative, and was 
so kind and nice to me, treating me as if I wasayoung 
thing of twenty. She came and brushed my hair 
and helped me to dress and we all went to the 
Cafe de Paris and dined. I really did feel like a 
jeune file being chaperoned and out for the first 



time. I wore a magnificent white dress with white 
beads on it, very long. My hair was cut quite short 
with two side whiskers, known by the apaches as 
Rouflaquettes. I had enormous pearl earrings, a 
large pearl ring, and a very good imitation gold 
chain bracelet, all of which had been given to me 
by R., F., and Poulenc one day, when they left 
me alone at the Cafe de Paris, and went out and 
showered false jewellery upon me, with which I 
was delighted; and they really looked magnificent 
with my fine dress. Chenal was a splendid actress, 
but looked really almost too big for the stage. 
Afterwards we went to the Casino and had supper 
with Ghenal and Picabia and his wife and several 
other people. I induced Picabia to dance. He 
assured me that he had never done so before, but 
he got round somehow. He was much shorter than 
I was, and rather fat. 

Chenal hired a motor-boat sometimes and took 
her friends to the smaller of the two islands opposite 
Cannes, called St. Marguerite. She invited us all to 
lunch with her one day. F. was not feeling well and 
so Poulenc and I went off in the car together. We 
had to meet at a small cafe and had to explain that 
F. could not come. One motor went back and 
Poulenc and I got into ChenaFs Hispano-Suiza, 
which was very large and grand. There were 
Picabia and Gaby and two other people. It was a 
beautiful day and very hot. On the island is a little 
restaurant by the sea and under some trees we had 
the spfaialiti de la maison, which was lobsters done 
in a special way. Everyone was French except 



myself. From St. Marguerite we could see In the 
distance, in the Golfe Juan, some warships. We were 
told that they were English. After lunch we visited 
a monastery and then took our motor-boat. Ghenal 
suggested that as we had plenty of time we should 
return by the Golf Juan and visit the warships. The 
first one had not a visitors 5 day, but the second one 
was the " Royal Oak," and we climbed up the side. 
A petty officer said to a sailor who had helped us up, 
" Do they speak English? " And I said, " I am 
English," whereupon they were delighted. So were 
my friends, and we saw all over the gun-room and 
climbed up and down ladders. When we got to 
Cannes we went to the Casino. One can play boule 
without a special ticket, but for the roulette and 
more serious gambling rooms one has to have one. 
Chenal was charming and bought me a season ticket 
for a month, not that I ever gambled, but it was 
most thrilling to watch the faces of the Greeks and 
serious old ladies at the most serious table of all, 
where the chips on the table staggered me. We 
saw the ex-King of Portugal. We had to wait 
a little before the really serious table started. On 
each place is a card with a name on it, and I saw 
the names of several very well-known people. 
Eventually the table filled up. There was a very 
smart old lady with a large hat covered in flowers. 
She had the most sinister face I have ever seen, and 
completely expressionless. There were two elderly 
Englishwomen, who looked like governesses, and had 
piles of chips in front of them. Poulenc played 
boule, I did not play anything, but continued to 



watch the roulette. Our motor came to fetch us, 
and Poulenc and I drove back to the Chateau. 

The next day we had arranged to meet Stravinsky, 
who was to have lunch with us at Faletto's. He lived 
at Montboron, which was near by. The restaurant 
was called the Pavilion Henri IV. There was a tiny 
bar and outside a small paved terrasse with a few- 
tables. We could see the whole of the Cap Ferrat 
from our table. Stravinsky arrived very flustered. 
He told us his troubles, which were many and 
varied. He had quarrelled with his cook, which he 
did once or twice a day, as he was always late for 
meals. His whole household worked all day. The 
girls drew and embroidered their drawings. One 
son painted and the other composed and his wife 
dealt with the whole family. He was hiding from 
Diaghilev. He had just returned to Nice and had 
had an appointment to lunch with him at the 
Reserve. We had nearly, at the last moment, de 
cided to go to the Reserve, and we breathed a sigh 
of relief, as Russians have a habit of getting very 
excited indeed when awkward situations arise. 
Stravinsky explained that if he met Diaghilev, 
Diaghilev would disturb him and upset him doing 
his packing. He said, " J* adore faire ma valise, c'est 
la seule chose qui vraiment m? amuse" He told us that 
he had invented a most beautiful suitcase, all the 
fittings were made of silver and all the bottles and 
little boxes inside were square. He said that it was 
called Le modele Stravinsky and was sold by a firm 
in the Champs Ely sees. He explained that he did 
not possess one as the firm was so mean that they 


had expected him to buy one at some enormous 

Gocteau came over from Monte Carlo and joined 
us after lunch. I met a Frenchman I had known 
slightly in Paris, who had a villa and one of the 
most beautiful gardens in the South of France. He 
lived on a hill above Cap Martin. He asked me to 
lunch. I mentioned, at luncheon one day, the name 
of the man, and a French woman present said, 
" How odd! I and my husband are lunching with 
him the same day; will you come along with us in 
our motor? " We started the next day, and as we 
were driving through Monte Carlo we saw Cocteau, 
We waved to him and he came and spoke to us. As 
he smiled we noticed that his gums were bright red. 
As we drove on the Frenchwoman said, " Tiens! il 
a ses gencives peintes" (his gums are painted). I 
said, " I wonder what he has done to them? " Coc 
teau was always finding new stunts and jokes to as 
tound the bourgeois. He was going to lunch at a large 
hotel and we wondered what the effect would be on 
the guests. I told F., who was very interested, but 
we did not mention it to anyone else, knowing that 
repeating things leads to trouble of every kind. 
Unfortunately, the Frenchwoman repeated this in 
cident to Harry Melvill, who did not get on at all 
well with Jean. They both liked talking all the time 
and consequently it was very awkward when they 
were both at a rather small party together. Harry 
was delighted and told everyone. We went to 
Villefranche one day to see Cocteau and Georges 
Auric, who were staying there. There we found 



Harry at a corner table. Jean came and joined us 
and, after lunch, he took me aside and said, " Gome 
upstairs, I have something to show you." We went 
upstairs and on the washstand were tubes and pots 
of bright red paste. This was the secret of the 
gencives peintes. He had found, at Nice, some tooth 
paste which, if rubbed hard enough and long enough, 
made the gums bright red. F. and I immediately 
on our return journey stopped at Nice and bought 
some. We went home and scrubbed and scrubbed. 
The effect lasted about half an hour and as we did 
not propose to spend the day cleaning our teeth we 
abandoned it. 

One morning I was standing in the middle of my 
room with no clothes on, assuming a variety of poses 
and looking at myself in two mirrors, so that I could 
see the effect all round. The window was open and 
suddenly the round red face of a workman appeared. 
He had come up a ladder and was engaged in 
painting the house. I stood still with shock, and so 
did the astonished workman. I then walked up to 
the windows and closed the shutters. I told F. 
and Poulenc, who were delighted. I suppose the 
workman told his mates who were working on the 
estate, because, afterwards, they always laughed 
when they saw me. I had a letter from the English 
man who said that he had arranged for me to have 
an exhibition at the Claridge Gallery in April. I 
painted two pictures during my visit, as well as the 
pear-tree. They were of the farm-houses with olive 
trees and I sold them all in London. 

I packed up my possessions and returned to Paris 





to collect my work for the exhibition. The Pole saw 
me off at the Gare St. Lazare. I entered a third- 
class carriage and in it I found a young man, Hans 
Egli, whom I had known for some time and who had 
married one of my friends. He was coming from 
Switzerland with his youngest child, who was about 
a year old. He had with him also one of my guitars. 
I had some wine with me. Some other people 
entered the carriage and I felt rather embarrassed 
as I was sure that they thought I was the mother of 
the infant. A business man with a grey moustache 
was sitting beside me. My friend handed me the 
baby, who roared. I wished I could have jumped 
out of the window. The business man smiled and 
I handed him the baby. Hans and I, much relieved, 
took down the guitar, and I opened the wine. The 
baby was entertained by the business man and we 
drank wine and sang songs till we reached Dieppe. 
We got to London at 7.30 a.m. It was cold and 
dreary and raining slightly. I took a room in a 
hotel and went directly to bed, wondering what my 
exhibition and the future would bring forth.