I began to write "Hilda Lessways" on January 6th. It has been impossible to keep this journal since when, additionally, I am either going out or receiving, every night and Sunday afternoons. I have in fact written about 14,000 words of "Hilda" in 16 days. The stuff is slowly improving.
I had not been able to even read until I received H. G. Wells's "The New Machiavelli". This book makes a deep impression on me, and even causes me to examine my own career, and to wonder whether I have not arrived at a parting-of-the-ways therein, and what I ought to decide to do after the book - after "Hilda" is finished. London or Paris?
Additionally for January 20th., see 'A family business' -
I called at the bureau de tabac opposite the Opera under the Grand Hotel to buy cigars and cigarettes. The patronne, a stoutish powdered agreeable woman of 50 or so was in charge, with a young girl, apparently her daughter. There is also a patron; quite a family affair.