can we talk?

Ottoline: tete a tete with Princess Chigi, Italy 1927.

a unkind-yet witty acquaintance once said of Ottoline's voice-
' that a cow mooing was rather like Ottoline saying Derain~ DE-E-E-ER-AI-AI-AI-AIN.
A not altogether deceptive verbal caricature.'

'There were low, resonant, organ tones, which often greatly surprised, or even startled a new person first introduced to her.Once when being introduced (to a visitor of RGH*):'

'She said 
she droned benevolently at him
You would care to come too.
He looked up at her, as though at a ghost, his eyes suddenly wide and round and protruding, and his mouth opening and shutting quite silently.
Sweetly and kindly she smiled,
'Well, don't trouble if you can't manage it. '

Robert Gathorne-Hardy said perhaps her inadequate early education- gave her a smaller vocabulary-especially for one so widely well read. 'It was as though she had eked out her too limited vocabulary with a lucid variety of pitch and tone: farcical jokes, comedy, deeply-felt thoughts of art and philosophy and religion-gossip and irony and politeness, for all these her peculiar speech was a pregnantly adequate medium.'

from the Introduction to her Memoirs, Robert Gathorne-Hardy*

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