51. H. F. Scott-Stokes to Harrod, 11 May 45

Glastonbury,

Somerset.

11 May 45

My dear Roy,

Your kind & patient letter, written on the 25th anniversary of my betrothal, reached me in this new world of `peace' today. I fully appreciate the truth & importance of what I understand you to say, & have asked PHIPP, the W.C.L.F. paid Secretary, what he has to offer you - I hope something possible will emerge. It is indeed important.

But, for me - listen. 25 years ago I gave up all the larger hopes, in the hope of making one young woman happy. Which continues. Today, I give up all the larger hopes in the hope of doing, well enough, for a little longer, the one thing I am paid to do; & paid very well, as you remarked 2 years ago. But just as then I could get some other man on work, & hope to have prepared the way for him, so now - I could take a week, or a fortnight, or 3 weeks; I cannot `in honour & conscience' contemplate giving up my obligations to the particular people to whom I am `obligated' while I live, & am able to work. And if I did, my family would starve, & my obligations to them could not be honoured. That is my position. I wondered 25 years ago, if the world might not lose something by my choice. I wonder still - with more humility & less assurance. But even if it were so, my duty is clear. Good hunting!

HFS

  1. 1. British Library, Harrod Collection, Folder Add. 71189, fol. 84 (transcribed by Charity Scott Stokes)


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