Dinner at Mrs. Devereux's last night. Schwob there. (See 'Parisian Life' - September 27th.) We talked a good deal about Meredith, and Schwob showed an extraordinary knowledge of the byways of English literature. He said Meredith was certainly the son of a tailor and quoted a passage from "Peter Simple" where two characters go to "Meredith the tailor", and he said this was George's father. It appears that Meredith now talks in aloud voice, but continually interrupts the conversation by talking to himself, mere senility of course, a 'softening of the brain'. He has 'ataxy' or something of one leg and limps and always tells any visitor that he had the misfortune to hurt his ankle that very morning. Schwob heard this from Oscar Wilde and didn't believe it. However, when Schwob called on Meredith, sure enough he had hurt his leg that very morning. Schwob's enthusiasm for Meredith's last book was magnificent. He looked ill, but he was in his best form, and speaking beautiful English.
On Monday I was trying to find a leading idea for the concert scene in "Sacred and Profane Love", but could not. I read late, and dreamed about the scene all night, and got it all mixed up, and generally wasted a vast amount of energy with no result at all. Today I continued to search after that idea with no success. I stayed late at Mrs. Devereux's and then read a lot afterwards, and I didn't go to bed till nearly two. I dreamed of the chapter all night and woke up at 6.30 after which I didn't go to sleep again. Today, I received the "Fantasia" of Chopin from Tertia. This is the clou of the chapter if only I can make it so. (see 'Love in Liverpool' - September 19th.)