Thinking further about my observations on Samuel Povey in the "O.W.T.", I wonder if it would not have been possible to introduce a short early scene involving Sam and perhaps one or two of the shop-girls or the servant, to establish his force of character and unique position in the establishment. The business of Constance and Sophia getting cockles and mussels from Hollins in the street doesn't seem to add much (apart from a bit of colour) to the story, and might have been usefully omitted in favour of Sam!
Henry James. At Pinkers. Very slow talker. Beautiful French. Expressed stupefaction when I said I knew nothing about the middle-class, and said the next time he saw me he would have recovered from the stupefaction, and the discussion might proceed. Said there was too much to say about everything - and that was the thing most felt by one such as he, not entirely without - er - er - er - perceptions. When I said I lay awake at nights sometimes thinking of the things I had left out of my novels, he said that all my stuff was crammed, and that when the stuff was crammed nothing more could be put in, and so it was all right. He spoke with feeling about his recent illness. "I have been very ill". Said he was now settled down in Cheyne Walk, and had one or two faithful, dependable servants, and so on. An old man, waning, but with the persistent youthfulness that all old bachelors have.