It seems that the curés in Brittany forbid dancing, except at wedding feasts. Nevertheless, in this village there is dancing in the very shadow of the church every Sunday afternoon after vespers. We saw it yesterday afternoon. About 10 couples. The charcutière [pork butcher’s girl] danced with another girl. Heavy girls. One couple obviously in love. A drum and a brass instrument.
We cycled this morning to the ferry on the way to Saint-Pol. Beautiful country. There is only one road in and out of this village, and no turning out of it for 6 or 6 kilometres. This afternoon I was too idle to paint, so I did a pastel of the panorama towards Saint-Pol.
Of the three men here, one is a passementier [lace dealer], and another a commercial traveller, and the third a fabricant [maker] of something. They sit at a table and sing together. The luggage of one married couple arrived tonight, 36 hours late. The wife is of the odalisque sort, and she put on some more striking clothes at once. She lolls at her bedroom window for 30 to 60 minutes each morning. A beautiful young woman. Elle se cambre tout le temps. [She arches her back all the time]. She would have made a good courtesan. Alcock says that she leaves a table at which an intellectual conversation is proceeding – about war or feminism, for instance – with a gesture which says, ‘What has all this go to do with IT?’
Journal of Arnold Bennett - Monday, July 11, 1910