Wednesday, December 31, 2014

179. December 31, 1900

The last day of a happy year, free from humiliations or ill-health. Our positions have strengthened and reached that phase when small hostilities show themselves once more after a lull, due to the surprise at Shannon's and my return to the front as living art quantities, he as a successful painter and I as a printer. With comparative success and a lack of anxiety, one is conscious of the fragility of the thread of success to be followed, when all about makes for silence and indifference.

Charles Ricketts concluded his diary for 1900 with these dualistic phrases. He also remembered his great friend:

Our sorrow: the death, at first hardly felt, of poor Oscar Wilde; this affects one at stray moments, when one is off one's guard: at sundown, or at sunrise: moments, with me, of introspection, hesitation, or regret.

[Self-Portrait Taken from the Letters & Journals of Charles Ricketts, R.A. London 1939, p. 50].