Monday 24th January 1927
Bussed back into town and to Betjeman's rooms in St Aldates — a v. beautiful panelled room looking across to the side of the House. found myself pitchforked into a galaxy of super-undergraduates, including Sparrow of the Nonesuch Press. The only others I remember are Harwood of the House (no relation) and an absolutely silent and astonishingly ugly person called McNeice, of whom Betjeman said afterwards "He doesn't say much but he is a great poet". It reminded me of the man in Boswell "who was always thinking of Locke and
". his silent bard comes from Newton or rather Carrickfergus. The conversation was chiefly about lace curtains,
arts-and-crafts (wh. they all dislike}, china ornaments, silver versus
earthen teapots, architecture, and the strange habits of "Hearties".
The best thing was Betjeman's v. curious
collection of books. Belfast
Came away with him and back to College to pull him along thro' Wulfstan till dinner time. In spite of all his rattle he is really just as ignorant and stupid as Valentin.
All My Road Before Me (1991)
[Image : Louis Macneice at Oxford]