The other day a vendeuse and an essayeuse [salesgirl and fitter] came up from the Maison Blanc with a robe d’intérieur for M. and another for Mrs Selwyn. A porter of the Maison Blanc carried the box. The general tableau – the two employées, young and agreeable, but certainly not virgins. With soft, liquid, persuasive voices, speaking chiefy English; the frothy garments lying about on chairs and in the box, Selwyn, Alcock, and me lounging on chairs, and M. and Mrs S. playing the mannequin, and the porter waiting outside in the dark corridor – this tableau produced a great effect on me. Expensive garments rather – and I felt that for my own personal tastes, I would as soon earn money in order to have such a tableau at my disposition, as for a lot of other seemingly more important and amusing purposes. A fine sensuality about it. There was something in the spectacle of the two employees waiting passive and silent for a few moments from time to time while we talked.
Arnold Bennett's Journals - Tuesday, January 23rd., 1911