22 February 1921

22 February 1921

Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France

               "Under the spreading chestnut tree

                The village smithy stands."

said the lady with the fan. I've always wanted to ask & I've never dared to - was he the same smith as that dreadful harmonious one that one used to have to practise on a cold piano in the early morning.

Varats by Handel, murmured the lady novelist.

The dark young man spoke again. Haydn, please, said he loudly [?]. At that the Cabinet Minister looked quite distressed. What a bother it was, thought the hostess, they were really worrying him.

I am afraid, he said, still quite pleasantly, you're not quite right in your facts. I fancy - in fact I feel quite certain on this point - the name was Handel.

But this time the young man refused to be subdued. I thought Samuel Butler had proved that Handel didn't exist. Samuel Butler! cried the Cabinet Minister - but he was obviously staggered. Then how on earth - how on earth does he account for the Messiah? The Messiah! cried Moyra Moore & she waved the tulip like a wandering angel.

[KM Notebooks, undated.]