We are staying here for a few weeks. The cottage is small but the landscapes and food are excellent, and I am working. Occasionally I have to go up to town. I went for a walk at 10.10 along the straight Storrington Road., and sat on stiles while thinking out my next chapter. I am making very good progress with "The Vanguard".
I was reading about Scott's methods in The Times Lit. Suppl. on Sunday, and it seems he wrote the last chapters of "Woodstock" at the rate of one chapter, or about thirty printed pages a day, consecutively. Well, it is almost miraculous. It must have been 5 or 6,000 words a day. And once written the stuff was not re-read or looked at, at all, until the proofs came in. If I could write anything like that I should only work six months in the year. I suppose it's true.
I nursed Virginia for 20 minutes, while Dorothy played a Bach-Tausig Fugue, etc. It is very interesting nursing the baby for a short time; but the narrowness of the baby's interests must make it tedious quite soon. I kept the creature very 'good'. Mother & babe are in the greatest form.
After having ascertained through her relatives & friends that my legal wife would not agree to a divorce, I wrote to her & formally asked her. She then formally refused - on the ground of her still-continuing professed affection for me! So that is that. Our relations (by correspondence) are always most amicable.