A week of sluggish liver and disordered kidneys; restless nights; ill-tempered mornings.
An evening of strong contrasts; at eight o'clock I left, the musical, emotional atmosphere of Sharpe's, where Sharpe, Weist Hill, Mrs. Sharpe, Werg and Alcock were playing to a very mixed audience, Cherubini, Saint-Saens, Stanford and Schumann; raced home on my bicycle, rushed out again, took the bus and was having supper with Miss Symonds and her mother at Thurloe Square in exactly half an hour. At Putney, music, loud laughter, undiluted emotionalism, and sincere artistic purpose. At South Kensington, literature, quietude, the restraint of an eighteenth century demeanour, - and sincere artistic purpose , too.
Miss Symonds, on the whole the most advanced and intellectually fearless woman I have met, stuck to the old formula that a woman should marry a man ten years her senior, "Ten or Fifteen years," she corrected herself. Her reasons: that a woman matures earlier than a man and that at forty a woman is middle-aged, while the man ... etc. The old reasons, which I combated, with cases in point to support my view.
I ventured to mention that I have never learnt to be enthusiastic about the work of her celebrated cousin, John Addington Symonds. To my astonishment, both she and her mother confessed that they had read very little of it, and did not care for it.
I have noticed several times lately that when young boys run whooping and leaping along the street, from sheer effervescence of animal spirits, they do not ever smile. On the contrary, their faces are sternly set, and have a rapt, intent expression, as though they were thinking out some difficult problem.
I wonder if I have been led to note this particular observation by association from thinking about Symonds' proclivities?