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Saturday, 5 October 2013

Expanding horizons

Saturday, October 5th., Les Sablons.

Curious example of wit in Wordsworth; I should imagine it to be rather rare: the description of the old pack of cards in the first book of "The Prelude"; pp. 17-18 of the temple Classics edition. I am now reading "The Prelude" with intense pleasure. I have abandoned several other books in order to read it. I have just read half of Proctor's "Primer of Astronomy", and now for the first time understand how not only the varying length of days, but the seasons, are caused by the plane of the equator not being the same as the plane of the ecliptic. Simple enough! Perhaps one day I may comprehend the precession of the equinoxes.

I had a headache for three days, but I did my daily portion of "The Sole Survivors" and finished the thing, which I have damned a hundred times, yesterday morning. This is the last play I will ever touch until I have a play produced.

On Tuesday I begin my novel.

Recently I have taken to long walks in the forest. On Wednesday I discovered the Malmontagne, with wide views of the forest. In nature it is large spaces, bleak, with simple outlines and little noticeable detail, that appeal to me most strongly. I am more 'sympathetic' to Dartmoor than to any other spot on earth. Next to that, the sea. Here, what chiefly appeals to me is the forest seen in the mass from a height, and the long smooth stretches of the Seine between St. Mammes and Montereau. With such things I class in my memory the panorama of the Appenines, spotted with hill-towns as seen from the first range behind San Remo.

On Thursday it rained nearly all day and I walked two hours in the rain. The horse chestnuts in the road are dropping their fruit like heavy ammunition, and people are gathering it for cattle food.

Lee Mathews wrote me yesterday that Professor Gilbert Murray, one of the reading committee of the Stage Society, was delighted with "Cupid and Commonsense". This gave me much pleasure. It now begins to look as if this play would really be produced.
See also 'French Excursion', September 24th., -

Additionally for October 5th., see 'Headache' -

To wake up at midnight, after an hours sleep, with a headache, slight but certainly indicative of the coming attack; to hear the clock strike, every note drilling a separate hole into your skull; to spend the rest of the night uneasily between sleeping and waking, always turning over the pillow, and tormented intermittently by idiotic nightmares, crowded with action, which fatigue the brain: this is a disturbed liver. Towards morning comes the hope, caused by the irregularity of the pain, that the headache will pass away on getting up. But it never does so.

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