In a short but heartening exchange, Mr Honey, flapping himself around his calves, as is his wont, with a horse-whip declared that ‘Nothing, but nothing beats a picture’. He was fresh in from Yorkshire and very full of himself, but I shall summarise his fuller account.
News in this second annus mirabilis is rushed to the table of the Brown Advisor from every point of the compass and from every letter in the alphabet. Why this morning I thought I was taking A for Ampthill at quite a lick, when I was distracted by a great thundering at the door and all the rest of the alphabet from B to Z clamoured to make an entry.
Captain Ken commented to me only the other day that though he can walk 30 miles across country without thinking much of it, after twenty minutes in a picture gallery his back aches, his arches have fallen, a terrible feeling of torpor overcomes him, his body cries out for a pot of tea and a simple bench to rest himself upon.
Mr Honey picked up a nasty bruise on his knee on a recent visit to a country place. His memories of the episode are indistinct but he has offered that there was a fine cellar, that the place was all tangled up and Gothicked with ivy, and that really the people there should take more care.
Having been away on business I was sorry to come late to a communication from Dr L G of Hackney. It is always a pleasure to catch the good doctor’s lean figure through the frosted glass at the chemist’s, easily recognised by the tented chapeau that he wears when it rains for fear, as he puts it, that water may interfere with the working of his magnificent mind. He now wishes to put his considerable talents to the creation of a menagerie garden in the style of that great original, Capability Brown.
With my companions at the Tatler’s Waste-Bin, Captain Ken, the noted bicyclist, amongst them, we have on occasion devoted our evening’s lucubration to the trees that grow readily in the kingdom. Last night came the turn of the greatest of them all, and the tree most planted by our hero, Capability Brown.
Dr L has contacted me from Stanstead Mountfichet to ask whether the church at Fornham Genevieve was ruined by the time the great Capability Brown got there.
Mrs D of Hampshire has been in touch again to ask for a list of English-style landscapes in France.