I am too busy to attend to the photo-collecting right, because I have to live up to the name which Jamie Dodge has given me--the "Belle of New York"--and it just keeps me rushing. Yesterday I had engagements to breakfast at noon, dine at 3, and dine again at 7. I got away from the long breakfast at 2 p. m., went and excused myself from the 3 o'clock dinner, then lunched with Mrs. Dodge in 58th street, returned to the Players and dressed, dined out at 9, and was back at Mrs. Dodge's at 10 p. m. where we had magic-lantern views of a superb sort, and a lot of yarns until an hour after midnight, and got to bed at 2 this morning --a good deal of a gain on my recent hours. But I don't get tired; I sleep as sound as a dead person, and always wake up fresh and strong-- usually at exactly 9.
I was at breakfast lately where people of seven separate nationalities sat and the seven languages were going all the time. At my side sat a charming gentleman who was a delightful and active talker, and interesting. He talked glibly to those folks in all those seven languages and still had a language to spare! I wanted to kill him, for very envy.
I greet you with love and kisses. PAPA.
Feb. --. Livy dear, last night I played billiards with Mr. Rogers until 11, then went to Robert Reid's studio and had a most delightful time until 4 this morning. No ladies were invited this time. Among the people present were--
Coquelin; Richard Harding Davis; Harrison, the great out-door painter; Wm. H. Chase, the artist; Bettini, inventor of the new phonograph. Nikola Tesla, the world-wide illustrious electrician; see article about him in Jan. or Feb. Century. John Drew, actor; James Barnes, a marvelous mimic; my, you should see him! Smedley the artist; Zorn the artist; Zogbaum the artist; Reinhart the artist; Metcalf the artist; Ancona, head tenor at the Opera;
Oh, a great lot of others. Everybody there had done something and was in his way famous.
Somebody welcomed Coquelin in a nice little French speech; John Drew did the like for me in English, and then the fun began. Coquelin did some excellent French monologues--one of them an ungrammatical Englishman telling a colorless historiette in French. It nearly killed the fifteen or twenty people who understood it.
I told a yarn, Ancona sang half a dozen songs, Barnes did his darling imitations, Harding Davis sang the hanging of Danny Deever, which was of course good, but he followed it with that most fascinating (for what reason I don't know) of all Kipling's poems, "On the Road to Mandalay," sang it tenderly, and it searched me deeper and charmed me more than the Deever.