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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The cocottes of Paris

Casino de Paris. Plenty of stylish cocottes here, in whom Tertia and Lizzie [his sisters] were tremendously interested. Which reminded me of C’s saying, about the married woman’s way of remarking, ‘Ça dit être une cocotte’ [that must be a whore]. But Tertie and Lizzie now confess their interest, and insist on going to another music-hall on Monday night in order to see more cocottes. Yet when I told them of the idea I had discussed with Frank, of writing a handbook or practical guide for cocottes, for the private joy of friends, they were certainly startled. I can always tell when they are really a little shocked. - Saturday, October 31st 

 I was told today that, as I thought, the most distinguished of the music-hall cocottes went to the Casino de Paris; and also that they did business comparatively infrequently, but what they did was very remunerative. This latter statement I regarded with suspicion, as also the following: that a particular woman, tall, very distinguished, and very well dressed and well jewelled, who I had often admired in various resorts, had an absolute minimum of 250 francs. It seems she goes about in a pair-horse carriage in the evening, by some sort of arrangement with the coachman. I was told that many cocottes pay their coachmen either partly or wholly in love. This woman, by the way, sometimes brings to the Casino her young child, of 7 or 8 years old perhaps, I have seen them together there, and the effect was certainly effective. - Tuesday, November 3rd 
                                                                                         -   from the Journals of Arnold Bennett, 1903

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