57. H. F. Scott-Stokes to Harrod,2nd January 1957
H.F. SCOTT STOKES
R. F. Harrod Esq.,
at Bayfield Beeches,
2nd January 1957.
Thank you so much for your long and sad letter, which I got last night when I came in after a long sitting at the County Council. Do send me a copy of the book about Induction; as we are both amateurs in this matter, perhaps I should understand it!
I am sorry people were cross with you about your letter to "The Times" (which I don't read - I only look at the Births and Deaths, and so on!). I suppose you said that perhaps our Government were trying to protect our interests? That is what I have been saying, with tears in my eyes, to people who keep talking what seems to me kindergarten nonsense about the whole affair. And I say that with tears in my eyes; for they are among my nearest and dearest. Never mind, that will pass; as all things pass, good and bad.
Fear no more the Pope's nose, or any other part of him. He has never meant anything to me since 1919, at the latest; though for a time, when my dear Mother died, I did humbly sit under him for seven years, with growing indignation and dis-unity - and that ended, more than 20 years ago. And some seven years ago, after a delay of nearly 30 years, I did apply for membership in the Society of Friends (with whom, as a rule, I disagree root and branch on all but fundamental matters) - and I am now a sort of Chapel parson in that respectable connection, which is as far away from the Pope as any body calling itself Christian can be. I am an Elder of the same, and the "Clerk" of "Monthly Meeting", which is the fair equivalent of an Archdeacon in the Established Church, I suppose - except that our numbers over the whole of Somerset are rather less than those of an ordinary parish.
Good, clean fun! And I get something out if it; and all sorts of perhaps vestigial excitement from reading the Gospels and Psalms in Greek. And how they illuminate each other. I am told that my "sermons" are quite unlike anyone else's - and I can quite believe it. And, anyway, they do no harm; or not much.
Dear Roy, be not down-hearted. "Quant on a perdu sa force" life has few enjoyments, as I am now in a position to inform you! But, believe me, that is nothing like so humbling as the preceding gush of the same, which is almost more than flesh and blood can bear.
What about the boys?
Happy New Year! Do send me your book.
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