THE WAYWARD MUSE
Sta,—Your placing of Mr. Knight-Bruce's letter at the head of your correspondence columns means, perhaps, that you invite someone to fall for it. Accordingly, here goes. The underlying suggestion is, I take it, that questionable activities, if they prove to inspire the art of the President of the Royal Academy and the Poet Laureate (and pre- sumably other artists and writers), should, ipso facto, be not subject to regulation. This seems to me a risky line of argument. I append a table of examples, by way of extension, taken at random from the work of other acknowledged masters.
SUBJECT-MATTER OF LEGAL ASPECT IN INSPIRATION GREAT BRITAIN ARTIST OR WRITER
President of Royal Bill to abolish Fox-hunting introduced into Academy Poet Laureate Parliament Not permitted W. Shakespeare Murder, or self-murder, by dagger, poison, asp- bite, etc.
Parricide, fratricide, incest, etc.
Rape Being found without visible means of sup- port G. Not officially en- Prostitution de Maupassant, Rouault, etc. couraged Unmentionable activity Michelangelo No case recorded in this country of swan Aeschylus, Sophocles Not permitted and those chaps Rubens Not permitted Defoe Not permitted
—I am, Sir, yours faithfully, H. S. WILLIAMSON. 5 Strand-on-the-Green, Chiswick, W4.