Monday 13 September

The blessed thing is coming to an [end] I say to myself with a groan. Its like some prolonged
rather painful & yet exciting process of nature, which one desires inexpressibly to have over. Oh the relief of 
waking & thinking its done—the relief, & the disappointment, I suppose. I am talking of To the Lighthouse. I am 
exacerbated by the fact that I spent 4 days last week hammering out de Quincey, which has been lying about 
since June; so refused £30 to write on Willa Cather; & now shall be quit in a week I hope of this unprofitable 
fiction, & could have wedged in Willa before going back. So I should have had £70 of my years 200 ready made 
by October: (my greed is immense: I want to have £50 of my own in the Bank to buy Persian carpets, pots, 
chairs &c.) Curse Richmond, Curse The Times, Curse my own procrastinations & nerves. I shall do Cobden 
Sanderson & Mrs Hemans & make something by them however. As for the book [To the Lighthouse]— Morgan 
said he felt 'This is a failure' as he finished The passage to India. I feel—what? A little stale this last week or two 
from steady writing. But also a little triumphant. If my feeling is correct, this is the greatest stretch I've put my 
method to, & I think it holds. By this I mean that I have been dredging up more feelings & character, I imagine. 
But Lord knows, until I look at my haul. This is only my own feeling in process. Odd how I'm haunted by that 
damned criticism of Janet Case's "its all dressing. . . technique. (Mrs Dalloway). The C.R. has substance". But 
then in ones strained state any fly has liberty to settle, & its always the gadflies. Muir praising me intelligently 
has comparatively little power to encourage—when I'm working that is—when the ideas halt. And this last lap, 
in the boat, is hard, because the material is not so rich as it is with Lily on the lawn: I am forced to be more 
direct & more intense. I am making some use of symbolism, I observe; & I go in dread of 'sentimentality'. Is the 
whole theme open to that charge? But I doubt that any theme is in itself good or bad. It gives a chance to ones
peculiar qualities—thats all. Then I'm concerned whether to stay with Ethel Sands or not: whether to buy a dress 
or not. Then I'm astonishingly happy in the country—a state of mind which, if I did not dislike hyphens, I should 
hyphen, to show that it is a state by itself.

We took Angus over the downs towards Falmer yesterday. After all these years, we have discovered 
some of the loveliest, loneliest, most surprising downland in these parts: lovelier I think than our rival the 
Seaford-Tilton down over which we walked in broiling sun last Thursday. How it beat on our heads, made poor 
puppy pant. Lydia & Maynard came to tea.