- 11 July 1921
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Thanks Robert for his letter of the 9th [46/275]; that is 'rather good for the British Postal Service nowadays', and Caroline received a letter from Aunt Anna dated the 9th this morning. Sees that Harrow have lost [the cricket match against Eton at Lords] again; there have been several long reports in the Times recently about 'Harrow festivities and anniversaries', quoting a number of speeches which mentioned nothing but cricket; one would think nothing else was taught and yet Harrow has not won a match for more than fifteen years. In his own day, they talked and cared about plenty of things, yet won nine matches in ten years against Eton; is 'rather ashamed of the whole business'. Will read [Jonson's] Volpone again soon; recently read [Plautus's] Mostellaria, and the Alchemist must be 'good indeed' to better it, while the Silent Womanis a 'rare good play'. Has just had the 'most remarkable literary contrast' in his reading today: between some 'glorious chapters' in [Cicero's] De Natura Deorum, II.37-40, and the 'olla podrida of conceit and self-laudation in the following few; wonders that they could have been written 'by a man of 60' - and such a man as Cicero; imagine Burke, Charles Fox, Canning or Macaulay doing such a thing. Will be a 'most marvellous, and indeed, miraculous thing' if the 'Irish effort' [truce talks] comes off.