THESE were Harris's days of prosperity, when he entertained lavishly, usually at the Café Royal. I remember especially a dinner he gave there at which Oscar Wilde, Max Beerbohm, Aubrey Beardsley, Robbie Ross and myself were present. Harris on this occasion monopolized the conversation; even Wilde found it difficult to get a word in. He told us an endless story, obviously inspired by the Étui de Nacre, while Oscar grew more and more restive. When at last it came to an end, Max said, 'Now, Frank, Anatole France would have spoiled that story.' But Harris wasn't thin-skinned; he proceeded to tell us of all the great houses he frequented. This was more than Oscar could bear.— 'Yes, dear Frank,' he exclaimed, 'we believe you; you have dined in every house in London, once'—the only time I heard him say an unkind thing.
From Sir William Rothenstein, Men and Memories (1931), i. 213.
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