I went by bus to Trafalgar Square, and into the National Gallery, and stayed there for an hour, and greatly enjoyed Nicholas Poussin's "Nativity", which is the most amusing "Nativity" I have ever seen; and I came out with the required idea, which I shall begin to write tomorrow.
James O'Connor came in. I walked up to Piccadilly with him. He said: I only heard indirectly of the change in your circumstances, my dear Arnold. My wife would much like to call. She is very fond of babies." We travelled by bus together to Sloane Street.
This article will start from a reflection that the centenaries of Newton and Beethoven are now safely over. I dislike centenaries which are dangerous to one's peace of mind, as they give rise to a stream of twaddle, the sight and sound of which make one feel awkward, constrained, and lower one's estimate of human nature. Reading some of the tributes to Beethoven , I had some of the terrible qualms of humiliation and self-consciousness which visit me when I have to cross arms and join hands and sing Auld Land Syne. Newton was better handled and his centenary leads me to thinking about Einstein. I could desire to assist at the centenary of Einstein, but heaven will no doubt decide against me. Here I am, violent but grey-haired, endowed with a fair sanity and general intelligence, and a passion for knowledge - and after all these years I understand little more of the relativity theory than a clever hall-porter.
Then Michael Morton called by appointment. He told me that he thought he could sell the film rights of "Riceyman Steps" to the Gainsborough people (Hitchcock, producer) for £2,500. I told him to go away and do it.