6. H. F. Scott-Stokes to Harrod, 29.8.20

Oakhill House,

Uplands Road,

Selly Park,



My dear Harrod,

Your letter followed me from Exeter to Glastonbury, & I have been meaning to answer it for a week or so, but it came at a bad time. I have abandoned India owing to health & my lady's natural qualms, & am just embarked on a job of work up here - I'm sorry to say that Oxford will see me no more, & I've let down all my friends damnably; my excuse is obvious and cogent - I would marry & must have an income to do it, tho' I'd hoped it might be possible to Jack Russelligo for a bit, & so here I am. I'm afraid I've little time for letter-writing now, but we'll meet in Oxford at the beginning of term and talk somewhat - I always wanted to talk deeply with you but always felt too tired or stupid when opportunity offered & I could never get through your out-worker [? CSS]. I'm coming up on Oct. 14th, & hope to put in a XX Club, Essay Society, & Ralegh Club meeting with luck.

I've not a great deal of quarrel with your last letter; I admit the horror of my Mother's plight is chiefly my own & therefore negligible. (Item - for God's sake don't soak in W. Pater too much / tho' I like much of Marius) he's but one degree better than O. Wilde; I'm sure Catlin's been reading O.W. for he wrote me an annoying letter lately including the phrase `the perimeter of ignorance increasing with the diameter of knowledge'!) Note on God; yes in a sense; but surely one can hold the 1st article of the Creed - believe in a `first cause' - in a way that is human, I suppose, but surely not anthropomorphic? On truth; not that `be truthful always' is a divine command, but that any demand of conscience is, in a way. I don't follow your objection - you can't truly hold that man without a conscience is (or would be) higher than man with? If you do, I am silent - it is one of our contrary `self-evidents'. ... ....- Aristotle of course dealt with that, & I think we also already; so take it I did know; then my problem is not `Why this now?' - I expected it, as you say - but `This is right, & I know it; but how can such things be right?' So it was when I made my choice, but it comes home more vividly now that my worst fears are realized. Enfin - thankyou again - really & truly, not conventionally; don't you too feel the value of truth of intercourse?



  1. 1. British Library, Harrod Collection, Folder Add. 72732, fol. 91 (transcribed by Charity Scott Stokes)

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