IN July and again in September of 1928 I had good talk with George Moore at his house in Ebury Street. His published conversations with the late Edmund Gosse and others have made this 'long, unlovely street' distinguished, for Mr. Moore was one of the very few who could write profound and penetrating literary criticism in the manner of informal talk. Being a genuine literary aristocrat, he had the unaffected affability of his class, a combination of ease and elegance. He wasted not a moment on the weather, but immediately began to say things worth remembering. I am unfortunately no Boswell, but I can give the substance of what he said, though not altogether as he said it. He was in the serene seventies, physically weak from a recent operation, and a major one drawing nearer; but there was no sign of illness in his face or in his voice. Unlike many sufferers, he showed no inclination to talk of his ailments, of his medicines or physicians, or of his operations; the main interest of his life was art, and he was as keenly interested in it as he had been fifty years before.
Two other subjects seemed to arouse his excitement; the only two I did not care to hear him discuss. One was the utter worthlessness of the writing of Thomas Hardy, worthless in thought ('The man never could think--he had no mind') worthless in style ('he never wrote well') worthless in construction ('he knew nothing of the art of fiction').
The other was sex. He would repeatedly draw the conversation around to that. He was kind enough to give me a