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#0509: Willa Cather to Ferris Greenslet, June 20 [1920]

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Do you know the rue du Chat qui Pêche?3

FG Dear Mr. Greenslet1:

I still live at the Hotel du Quai Voltaire, but am for the nonce visiting friends at thise this rich hostelry.

Last week Miss Lewis4 and I had an excellent dinner, with a good champagne, at Lapérouse for a hundred francs. I liked the place itself almost as well as the food, and it is not extravagant in price as Paris2 restaurants go now. At small hotels, like the Voltaire and the Hotel des Saintes Peres, one can still dine excellently, though somewhat slenderly, for ten francs. I am not going to shop any more than I have to, however. Everything in shops is costly, and the great change is that now all the less expensive things look cheap and shabby, as cheap things used to look in London5. You can still get a beautiful hat for 500 francs, but a 150 franc hat looks like 14th street in New York6. Silk gloves at 18 francs come to pieces the first time you put them on.

When we first arrived we spent a week in costly splendour at the Palais d'Orsay, and we ADRESSE TÉLÉGRAPHIQUE
still go there for dinner when neither of us is dining with friends. Miss Lewis goes on to Italy7 next week. The Hambourgs8 arrive on Saturday. I shall be here with them for several weeks, then go for a trip about the south of France9 with them. We will all meet at Sorrento10 about the end of July11. Then I hope to fall to work in a lemon house in the garden of my friends12 there. The garden runs down into the sea—or the bathing beach which terminates it does.

I have not planned any new paragraphs for Claude13 yet, as a result of being here,—but I have planned to cut out several that otherwise would have gone in—so I feel I've not spent my francs in vain, especially those I have seen disappear in liquids ruddy and golden, lively and still, thin and sharp, and thick and yellow as machine oil. The fruit and street flowers are not to be despised at this season. But the wines of France are really the supreme expression of its moods. I wish you were here. I could tell you a great many things that would sound absurd on either Bank14 or Park15 streets!

Faithfully Willa Cather