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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO
dealer. Modigliani had come back from Nice and
was very poor. They all said, " You must take up
Modigliani and give him a contract." In Paris the
dealers buy pictures by the inch; so much for so
many inches, and so much money a month for so
many metres of canvas. The dealer said, " He is
no good, he is a blagueur." Finally, the art dealer
was so pestered, that he had to give in and gave
Modigliani so much a month. Modigliani was de-
lighted and drank and worked more. The artists
at the end of the War, in Paris, and shortly after-
wards, did very well as all the army officers had
money, and many liked pictures and bought them.
They also gave incredible parties, much to the
annoyance of the concierges, who never ceased to com-
plain, but without any success. I began to think
seriously of leaving for Paris. I did not know what
to do about a passport. I was still rather frightened
of the police and decided to wait. I saw Marie
Beerbohm nearly every day. She used to go some-
times and stay in Oxford. One day she asked me to
go too. I was delighted. We stayed at the Ran-
dolph. At that time there were many amusing
people at the University; T. W. Earp, Aldous
Huxley, and Roy Campbell, who was attending
lectures, but was not actually an undergraduate.
We sat on the lawn at Balliol under the mulberry
tree with Aldous Huxley, who had grey flannel
trousers, a corduroy coat, and a red tie. He was
very tall and thin and snake-like. Marie was also
very tall and thin and elegant. I sat and listened
to them talk. J. B. S. Haldane was also at Oxford.
.106