I went with Swinnerton on a month's holiday to Portugal on Jan. 29, and returned last Wednesday March 3rd.
W. R. Hearst newspapers asked me if I would go to Russia to interview leaders and examine Soviet system for them. I said I would go for 2,000 dollars a week, plus all expenses, and a journalist-courier with me to see to all the formalities. They said this was prohibitive and offered alternative to send me in tow of the Allied Commission going out to Petrograd at £200 a week to include expenses. I refused.
I also got the idea for my next novel (on the old age of Max's father, as related to me by Max himself) fairly complete, and I read "Le Cure de Campagne" for the death-bed scene at the end. I shall have a great death-bed scene at the end of my novel, and I want to stage it with the utmost magnificence. I got a tip or two from Balzac: but he is not at his best in this book and can be bettered.
Lately we have seen three revivals. "Arms and the Man" seemed better than it did 25 years ago. very fine. Shaw's title to be the modern Moliere not so rocky as I had thought. On the other hand "Pygmalion" is on the whole poor. Most of the characterisation is quite rotten, and wilfully made so for the sake of art and eloquence. The last act is foozled. Mrs Campbell was superb. There is still nobody else to touch her.
|Poster featuring Mrs Patrick Campbell |
in the role of Eliza Doolittle
Last night "The Admirable Crichton". Excellent. I liked it better than when I first saw it, much better.