Friday, May 10, 2019

The Nose of the Alligator

We drive to the French Embassy in a hired Daimler…The Churchills were the last to arrive and I was surprised to notice that when they enter, the whole room stands up as if they were reigning sovereigns.
Winston pays me lavish compliments on my speeches in the House and deplores my absence from it...He said that he had made friends with de Gaulle at last, whom he had found “much mellowed”.  He said that he had liked the Russians.  “The disadvantage of them is”, he says, “that one is not sure of their reactions.  One strokes the nose of the alligator and the ensuing gurgle may be a purr of affection, a grunt of stimulated appetite, or a snarl of enraged animosity.  One cannot tell.” 
      - Harold Nicolson, Diary, December 19, 1945

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