'After dinner [during stay at Marlborough College] my father was again asked to read by Mrs Bradley: "Will it be too cruel to ask you to read "The Grandmother?" [...] A Belgian governess, Mdlle. Stapps, was on the chair just behind him. He said, "I can't read 'The Grandmother' properly except after breakfast, when I am weak and tremulous; fortified by dinner and a glass of port I am too vigorous." "Well; read 'The Northern Farmer' then." So he did: and asked Mdlle. how much she understood. "Pas un mot, Monsieur."
'Then he read "The Grandmother," and after that four pieces out of Hood's Whims and Oddities, "Faithless Nelly Gray," "Faithless Sally Brown," "Tim Turpin" and "Ben Battle." He explained the play on words in them to Mdlle. who was "excessivement enchantee." He laughed till the tears came at some of the things he read. This went on till 11.50'.