Orage, editor and proprietor New Age, came on Monday night, and I sold him "How to Live on 24 Hours a Day" for his new series, and promised to give him an article on Wells, or an interview if Wells would agree.
We had not enough time really to come to grips about things. He was extremely witty and fine about the attitude of Keir Hardie and so on (but not sufficiently sympathetic). he told a really astounding tale of a dinner given by Cust to about 20 men, including Balfour and himself, when the house got on fire over their heads. Talk so interesting that dinner went on, though Cust was obliged to absent himself once for a few minutes. Perfection of menservants who offerd bath towels with the port to protect from firemen's water coming through the ceiling. Talk to accompaniment of engine throbs, swishing, tramping etc. Guests obliged to move table further up room out of puddles. Dinner laste till midnight in Dining Room, when they went to Drawing Room to view the place gutted. One of the finest social recitals I have ever heard.