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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Sunday, 27 April 2014


Wednesday, April 27th., 12b George Street, London.

By the last post last night I received the proofs of the first instalment in The Delineator, of "Mr. Prohack". To my intense disgust I saw at once that they had cut it. Considering that the number of instalments and the precise length had been agreed by me in accordance with the editor's own suggestion, this absolutely disgusted me, and I have written to Pinker that I don't want to correct any more proofs.

In the night I finished the tenth volume (just out) of Tchekoff. Apart from "Ward No. 6", the only long story, I think the best thing in it is "The Frost". It struck me on re-reading "Ward No. 6" (for the third time) that this tale is not at all like any other tale in the volume, and that there are very few Tchekoff's like it in manner in any volume. In places it seems to have been written under English influences. It is a most terrible story, and one of the most violent instances of Tchekoff's preoccupation with Russian slackness, and corruption.

I have sent my brother Septimus a cheque for £30, to keep him out of immediate danger, but fear for his future. He says that the financial situation in the Potteries is bad but it is just as stringent here. I know that I make a lot of money, but it is by dint of hard work, and my life is so arranged that I also spend a lot. Nor can my dispositions be altered at short notice. It was most unfortunate for example that I bought my new yacht just before the slump began, but there it is, and I have no intention of laying her up unless I am absolutely compelled to. The fact is that Septimus is not suited to the pursuit of an independent mercantile career, and I have told him so. He is a good and hard worker but has failed, even in times of relative commercial prosperity, to make profit on his capital, and now it is all gone. I think he would be better off and much happier in a salaried position.

Additionally for April 27th., see 'Not seeing Florence'

Munich Orchestra, conducted by F Loewe at the Teatro della Pergola on Saturday evening. "Till Eulenspiegel". I began to understand it. The intense vivacity of the thing proclaimed itself. The performance was magnificent. On Sunday I was ill, but I had determined to go to "Aida" at the Politeamo Fiorentino, and I went with Mr. Mock in a shower of rain. We saw three acts, & I enjoyed it very much, though ill. Vast interior. All the cheaper parts crammed; heads stretching away into distances further than at Covent Garden. Then I spent Monday & yesterday in bed. I could not read on Monday, but yesterday I read I don't know how many newspapers, all "Ce Cochon de Morin" and a lot of a new French novel by Jean Canora, sent to me for review. This morning I wrote my Chronicle article in bed, before 8.30. So that seeing Florence has stood still for a time.

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