Easily influenced! In reading Leautaud's preface to the "Plus Belles" pages of Stendhal, I found him defending Stendhal's hastiness of style; never going back etc., 'getting the stuff down' (as I say) without affectations or pose; reading a few pages of the Code to get himself into the 'tone' of plain straightforward writing. Now I could see the weakness of the argument, and I knew the clumsiness of Paul Leautaud's own style.
Today received Tauchnitz' "Swinburne". I came across "England: an Ode." I would not write a thing called "England: an Ode."
Here is a short extract:
Every morning just now I say to myself: Today, not tomorrow, is the day you have to live, to be happy in. Just as complete materials for being happy today as you will ever have. The supply of time is truly a daily miracle, an affair genuinely astonishing when one examines it. You wake up in the morning, and lo! your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of the unmanufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours. It is the most precious of possessions. A highly singular commodity, showered upon you in a manner as singular as the commodity itself. No one can take it from you. And no one receives either more or less than you receive. Live as though this day is your last of joy. "How obvious, if thought about" - yet it is just what we forget. Sheer M. Aurelius, of course.
Each day, thrice, I expect romantically interesting, fate-making letters. Always disappointed. Astonishing how I have kept this up for years.
Eyesight going wrong again. Ought to go to an optician at once. But can't put myself out to go to Paris, hate the idea of explaining to an optician, etc. Yet I know I run risks. Yesterday I decided to go, and felt easier, today my eyes are better and I put it off.