3. H. F. Scott-Stokes to Harrod, 19.7.20 or so

12, Great Ormond Street,


19.7.20 or so

Dear Harrod,

v. many thanks for your note: the new pagan life is good, and empty as success is in a world without meaning or purpose and full of envious intrigues I accept Plato's .... .... .... and the spur of love and necessity will probably drive me to earn enough money to pay the rent & educate my children tolerably well. I hope Henry hasn't taken the threatened pill and won't, but I'm convinced after hearing his analysis of suicide that he'll end some day on a comfortably greased silken cord just strong enough to carry his weight. It really is rather tragic. I've noted your subject, and expect much instruction from it.

Dear Woodruff seems disinclined to discuss the major problems of life in the Essay Society, which is a pity and I hope to have overcome some of his objections. But it's inevitable, as he himself says, that any man who belongs to a Society such as the Church should feel himself at once bound to defend it if he mentions it & incapable of doing so. You and I conclude from that that one shouldn't belong to such a Society - he, naturally enough, that one shouldn't discuss such questions.

It's regrettable that men can't stand up in public and admit that the grounds of their beliefs (and disbeliefs, certainly) are as a rule irrational and absurd, but I suppose one can't ask too much of men accustomed to success all their days. I hope you're weller. I'm weary and worn but sustained by the one thing which makes life worth living; as to spiritual things, I'm vexed only by the one last doubt `as to whether' any morality is worth the trouble - is more than an illusion. It's comforting certainly to know that one's acted according to one's lights; but consequences are apt to be devastatingly tragic, however much one may prefer to ignore them.



  1. 1. British Library, Harrod Collection, Folder Add. 72732, fol. 87 (transcribed by Charity Scott Stokes)

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