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Sunday, 19 January 2014

Philosophical ideas

Sunday, January 19th., Ilchester Gardens, London.

I have been in correspondence with Pinker regarding money, and asked him to send me £10 if possible. I assured him that my irregular need of money is in no way caused by personal affairs, but is due to my peculiar responsibilities as the head of a large family. Under Marguerite's influence I am now living in the most reasonable way possible. I am spending much less than I used to and the effect of this will soon be apparent. During my absence from Paris I have let the flat there and we live here on £7 a week inclusive. 

Mist yesterday morning; fog this morning. Both days I noticed 'the gigantic ghosts of omnibuses' in the gloom. It is a phrase to use.

I called and saw Vedrenne at the Queen's Theatre yesterday afternoon. Seemed a decent sort of chap, more sincere than the run of them; also he kept his appointment to the minute. He said that in the theatre he thought that "the author was everything". I of course agreed. said he had been paying G. B. Shaw £4,000 a year for four years past. And that he took £1,300 in Dublin in a week with a Shaw play. Also said, speaking generally, that he had lost a lot of money last year. Said he had taken on Waller for five years, and had bought a 'morality' play by Conan Doyle.
Additionally for Vedrenne see 'The writing business' -

Two days after the Queen's opened The Stage newspaper published a review of the building in their 10th of October 1907 edition saying:- 'A two-tier house, the Queen's holds about 1200 persons, representing some £300 in money. The colour scheme of the walls and roof is white and gold, while green is the hue of the carpets, hangings and upholstery, and of the very charming velvet tableau curtain. From a spacious and lofty entrance-hall, with passages leading down into the stalls, one ascends by a handsome marble staircase to the dress circle, which runs out over the pit; and there is a fine and roomy saloon at the top. Mr Vedrenne makes a point that 7/6 will be charged for seats in the first three rows only of the dress circle, while but 5/- will be the price of the remaining eight rows, also unreserved, in which evening dress will be optional. On the second tier of the Queen's, which is in the Old Italian Renaissance style and in the building of which the cantilever principle has been adopted, are the upper circle and the shilling gallery. The auditorium is lighted up agreeably with electric lamps and an electrolier, and ample refreshment room and other accommodation will be found to have been provided.'

My reading is unsatisfactory. I read a bit of the "Prelude" today. I don't seem to get into either Acton or Creevey. But I stick to Marcus Aurelius. I was moved by this, in "Meditations II.17" (Farquharson trans.): "Of man's life, his time is a point, his existence a flux, his sensation clouded, his body's entire composition corruptible, his vital spirit an eddy of breath, his fortune hard to predict, his fame uncertain. Briefly, all things of the body a river; all things of the spirit dream and delirium; his life a warfare and a sojourn in a strange land; his after-fame oblivion. What then can be his escort through life? One thing, and one thing only, Philosophy." Noble words from a noble mind. Of course, like others who think about these things, I sit comfortably in my chair and aspire to such nobility for myself, but then 'life' intrudes and its 'warfare' gives me little or no space for philosophic reflection. No doubt M.A. himself was largely pre-occupied with practical matters; indeed he must have been. One must be content to return to a core belief as and when possible, like a sailor returning to sheltered anchorage from stormy seas.

Additionally for January 19th., see 'On my balcony' -

Breakfast on the balcony again yesterday, while the fishing boats went out one by one straight into the dazzle of the sun, with an extraordinary sentimental effect. A highly dandiacal yacht, with fittings all brass and mahogany apparently, had been at anchor since we came; she was moored by two ropes to the jetty, and by two anchors from the stern. I noticed a detail of actualness which might be brought into a scene with great effect. The yacht swung from side to side on the jetty ropes, lifting first the starboard and then the port rope clear of the water, and as each rope came clear of the still water, the drops from it fell into the water in hundreds for a few seconds making a wonderful pretty pattering sound. On first catching this sound I did not perceive how it was caused.

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