I am still somewhat tentative as regards my opinion of the place, what it will bring me in the way of material I cannot tell. So far, "Paris Decadent" would be a good title for anything I should write of it. It is not that I have seen only the worst side of it but that that seems to be so much the most prominent. They worship the hideous Eiffel Tower and they are a useless, flippant people who never sleep and yet do nothing while awake. To-morrow I am going to a pretty inn surrounded by vines and trees to see a prize fight with all the silly young French men and their young friends in black and white who ape the English manners and customs even to "la box." To night at the Ambassadeurs the rejected lover of some actress took a gang of bullies from Montmartre there and hissed and stoned her. I turned up most innocently and greatly bored in the midst of it but I was too far away to pound anybody-- I collected two Englishmen and we went in front to await her re-appearance but she had hysterics and went off in a cab and so we were not given a second opportunity of showing them they should play fair. It is a typical incident of the Frenchman and has made me wrathy. The women watching the prize fight will make a good story and so will the arms of the red mill, "The Moulin Rouge" they keep turning and turning and grinding out health and virtue and souls.
I dined to night with the C-----s and P----s, the Ex-Minister and disagreed with everybody and found them all very middle class as to intellect. An old English lady next to me said apropos of something "that is because you are not clever like Mr. ---- and do not have to work with your brains." To which I said, I did not mind not being clever as my father was a many times millionaire," at which she became abjectly polite. Young Rothenstein is going to do a picture of me to-morrow morning. There is nothing much more to tell except that a horse stood on his fore legs in the Bois the other day and chucked me into space. I was very sore but I went on going about as it was the Varnishing day at the new salon and I wished to see it. I am over my stiffness now and if "anybody wants to buy a blooming bus" I have one for sale and five pairs of riding breeches and two of ditto boots. No more riding for me--- The boxing bag is in good order now and I do not need for exercise. The lady across the street has a new wrapper in which she is even more cold and haughty than before. "I sing Tarrara boom deay and she keeps from liking me."
PARIS, May 14th, 1893. DEAR NORA:
Things are getting more interesting here and I shall probably have something to write about after all, although I shall not know the place as I did London. Will Rothenstein has drawn a picture of me that I like very much and if mother likes it VERY, VERY much she may have it as a loan but she may not like it. I did not like to take it so I bought another picture of him, one of Coquelin cadet and now I have two. Coquelin gave him his first commission when he was nineteen, two years ago, and then asked him to do two sketches. After these were done Coquelin told him by letter that he would give him half what they had agreed upon for the big picture for the two sketches and begged the big picture as a gift. So Rothenstein cut the head and shoulders out of the big one and sent him the arms and legs. It is the head he cut out that I have. When Rothenstein and I and Coquelin become famous, that will make a good story. I have also indulged myself in the purchase of several of Cherets works of art. They cost three francs apiece. We have had some delightful lunches at the Ambassadeurs with Cushing and other artists and last night I went out into the Grande Monde to a bal masque for charity at the palace of the Comtesse de la Ferrondeux. It was very stupid and the men outnumbered the women 30 to 1, which are interesting odds. To-day we went to Whistler's and sat out in a garden with high walls about it and drank tea and laughed at Rothenstein. The last thing he said was at the Ambassadeurs when one of the students picking up a fork said, "These are the same sort of forks I have." Rothenstein said "yes, I did not know you dined here that often." Some one asked him why he wore his hair long, "To test your manners" he answered. He is a disciple of Whistler's and Wilde's and said "yes, I defend them at the risk of their lives." Did I tell you of his saying "It is much easier to love one's family than to like them." And when some one said "Did you hear how Mrs. B. treated Mr. C., (a man he dislikes) he said, "no, but I'm glad she did." It was lovely at Whistler's and such a contrast to the other American salon I went to last Sunday. It was so quiet, and green and pretty and everybody was so unobtrusively polite.
Rothenstein wore my rosette and made a great sensation and I was congratulated by Whistler and Abbey and Pennell. Rothenstein said he was going to have a doublebreasted waistcoat made with rosettes of decorations for buttons. Tomorrow Lord Dufferin has asked me to breakfast at the Embassy. He was at the masked ball last night and was very nice. He reminds me exactly of Disraeli in appearance. It is awfully hot here and a Fair for charity has asked me to put my name in "Gallegher" to have it raffled for. "Dear" Bonsal arrives here next Sunday, so I am in great anticipation. I am very well, tell mother, and amused. Lots of love.
PARIS, June 13, 1893. DEAR MOTHER:
There is nothing much to say except that things still go on. I feel like one of those little India rubber balls in the jet of a fountain being turned and twisted and not allowed to rest. Today I have been to hear Yvette Guilbert rehearse and thought her all Chas thinks her only her songs this season are beneath the morals of a medical student. It is very hot and it is getting hotter. I had an amusing time at the Grand Prix where Tina won a lot of money on a tip I gave her which I did not back myself. In the evening Newton took me to dinner and to the Jardin de Paris where they had 10 franc admittance and where every thing went that wasn't nailed. The dudes put candles on their high hats and the girls snuffed them out with kicks and at one time the crowd mobbed the band stand and then the stage and played on all the instruments. The men were all swells in evening dress and the women in beautiful ball dresses and it was a wonderful sight. It only happens once a year like the Yale-Princeton night at Koster and Bials except that the women are all very fine indeed. They rode pig-a-back races and sang all the songs. I had dinner with John Drew last night. I occasionally sleep and if Nora doesn't come on time I shall be a skeleton and have no money left. As a matter of fact I am fatter than ever and can eat all sorts of impossible things here that I could never eat at home. I lunch every day with the Eustises and we dine out almost every night. I consort entirely with the poorest of art students or the noblest of princesses and so far have kept out of mischief, but you can never tell for this is a wicked city they say, or it strikes me as most amusing at present only I cannot see what Harper and Bros. are going to get out of it. I said that of London so I suppose it will all straighten out by the time I get back.
When the season in Paris had reached its end, Richard returned to London and later on to Marion, where he spent the late summer and early fall, working on his Mediterranean and Paris articles, and completing his novel "Soldiers of Fortune." In October he returned to New York and once more assumed his editorial duties and took his usual active interest in the winter's gayeties.