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Saturday, 7 December 2013

Tyranny of thrift

Thursday, December 7th., Royal Thames Yacht Club, Piccadilly.

In the afternoon read through what I have written of my new novel. Not so bad. Undoubtedly I have been refreshed and invigorated by reading Dreiser's "The Financier", which absolutely held me. "The Titan", which I am now reading, is not so good.

Rebecca West and H. G. Wells
I came to London yesterday with Marguerite. Rebecca west, Gladys Wheeler, and H. G. Wells lunched with me at Romano's. Wells called my fob "gastric jewellery"! He offered to bet 2 to 1 that the war would be over by August next.

The other day I was out making some small purchases and became uncomfortably aware of a feature of my character - subservience to the tyranny of thrift. I am on the way to being a miser, though I have bouts of resistance. Perhaps this is why I have written so successfully about misers such as Ephraim Tellwright, James Ollerenshaw and Mrs. Garlick. I find myself incapable of making a purchase, even a small one, if I believe I can get better value (which generally means cheaper) elsewhere. It is almost physically impossible for me to pay more than I must, even though the amount saved is trivial, and I am far from being short of a few coppers. Have I learned this behaviour, or is it in some way an inherited predisposition?

Additionally for December 7th., see -

I went to have tea with Mrs. Spear and found all her three daughters there. The two eldest, aged about 18 or 19, are charming. There are, I suppose, no such French girls. The French girl is sacrificed to the French woman - and no doubt the French woman is worth the price. I had an extraordinarily rich tea of home-made jams and cakes. I was very facetious, I don't know why, and I made them laugh continually. It is very satisfying and contenting to make young girls laugh by simple means. I stayed two hours.

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