[Letter from Gerard Manley Hopkins (Oak Hill, Hampstead, N. W.) to Alexander William Mowbray Baillie, discussing his thoughts on being home; details of a visit to Edgeware; the architecture of a church in Edgeware; his mother not wishing him to fast. etc.

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[left side]

like those dreadful ones, at Iffley I think it is, thus [sketch of an arch with a keystone] dreadful things with keystones, you know, of Queen Anne's time - not like those I say, and not Norman, but with what was I suppose a third-pointed moulding or [strikeout] lovel [/strikeout] label round the head. I tried to remember the moulding in my mind's eye, but that is a snare, you never can. 4. Two windows, one the east, had swallows' nests like this. Symmetical birds you see. [sketch of a pointed arch harboring a swallow's nest] 5. I washed my hands in a pebbly brook which ran across the road. (You see I have a quill now, for it is tomorrow morning.) I have been twice to S. Alban's, Grey's Inn Road, but I cannot describe it now. I send you something to console your loneliness, it is [turn over. x

[right side]

Gerard M. Hopkins March/64

Dear Baillie,

For the first time for years I try to write a letter with a non- ] steel pen, or rather I have tried three already. You know how at home one can never get one one wants,

Be it never so homely

There's no place like home for losing what you have and not getting what you want. I always find home so uncivilized; they seem never to be acquanted with the ordinary luxuries or necessaries. If it were Pleasures or Palaces it would be the same; for instance I am sure I should not find sealing wax, though I might roam everywhere for it. And you can only see The Times and Saturday and nothing else, and the Church

Last edit about 1 year ago by Joan Passarelli
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is dreary and friends talk of Oxford as if it were Samarkand or Bothnia Felise, and yesterday I was asked if I had given many- I can hardly bear to write it--many "part ies" yet, that is


"Parties" alone is worse I think. One of those thoroughly uneducated Aunts one has (I do not mean in the vulgar sense, for she is deep in archaeology etc etc) thought College chapels, ours at all events, were places were devotion was impossible on ac count of the unseemly giggling and so forth- cards behind the seats perhaps and all that. But I shall put up Plato's motto over my door-


My mother does not let me fast at all, and says I in particular must never do it again, and fact I believe I must not. I feel like the Hindoos when the Sut tee was abolished; but that is to me al most greater mortification of the spirit than [strikeout] the [/strikeout] fasting of the flesh, as you will easily see to be possible.

On Saturday I walked from here to Edge ware, and back by Hendon. It was a beautiful day, and here is a little hand ful of [strikeout] facts [/strikeout] "useful information." 1. I saw, I think, a heron. 2. People in those parts pronounce their h's, saying the Hyde, the Hale for the 'Yde, the 'Ale. 3. There is a third-pointed church at Edgeware, like Middlesex churches, poor, and [strikeout] [som?] [/strikeout] some of the tracery meanly restored. It seems to be still in the Church warden age. There is an odd thing about it, over the west door a round-[strikeout] [hea?] [/strikeout] head ed window, without tracery, old, not

Last edit about 1 year ago by Joan Passarelli
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P.S. I have written a thing I may send you called [underline] Grass is my garland.[/underline]

Oak Hill Hampstead, N.W.

It will not take you a minute if you are [Writing?] to send me Wood's direction.

[Sketch labeled SIMEON THE STILEITE, showing a skeletal man in a fur or hair tunic, with a sort of halo, holding a curved object (a scythe?) and sitting on a high country stile. A pulley brings up a basket of bread loaves, three stars shine in the sky, and the man reads a newspaper with this text:


[Text resumes]


It was a good saying of [underline] Petronius Gallus [/underline] when [underline] Augustus Caesar [/underline] would have him to sign the Thirty-nine Articles, that he would do that very willingly, for that oft times the food of a Fool must be a Wise Man's physick. So I think alsoe is [underline] Seneca [/underline] to be understanded [underline] Quot Corpora, Iot capita [/underline]; Every woman had a Boddice but not every one Stays. There is a [toye?] in Hungarie which I set down for the better Memory of it, which they use of one that hath drunk deepe, and then afterward hath suffered, that such come in with the Highe Tide, and oute agen with the Ebbe. Which I would not affirm to be [strikeout] all [/strikeout] of all Sorts and Differences true, but this I

Last edit about 1 year ago by Joan Passarelli
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Say that it hath beene an Opinion that Many pass a highe Matter with [underline] Secrecie [/underline] and nevertheless are but Cormorants at the Hearte. And yet the old [underline] Proverbe [/underline] doth holde, Better a Blind man that hath Reache of one Apple than fifty Eyes that looke and reache not. So [underline] Plautius Surinna [/underline] said of [underline] Sil vius Pellieus, [Erecipe?] [/underline] Juro, Laedo [underline] et [/underline] Guber no [underline] quae regunt Accusatisum [/underline]; The Devyl is a cold Anvil, but a good Accuser. But that I may be more Verbal, I have knowne one who would give a very pretty sum as it were by Merchandizing or [strikeout] tra [/strikeout] Purchas ing to get that he [strikeout] megh [/strikeout] mought have for Nothing, and Another would use any tri vial or Poor Conceit to fetch a great Bur then. And of a truth though Wisedome they say is to be searcht keenly, you shall never finde that it is to be Discoverd in Ferrets' Holes. The which Albeit they are but Conceited Devisings of man's Wit, yet I do not say that they [strikeout] should [/strikeout] oughte to be held in anyy Confirmation or Extrava gancy. But enough of these toyes.

[underline] The Rest was not finisht.[/underline]

There are some things I want you to do for me. First to tell Dodgson or Dodson that I am coming up on Easter Tuesday if you can get that message conveyed to him by Henry or any of the scouts in College. Secondly to tell me Wood of Trinity's (now you would say [underline] Wood's of Trinity [/underline], but you would be at once pedantic and wrong) address. How I have attenuated that sentence! Third, if my rooms are open to see if there is a penknife lying about which I left there I think. I have had a letter from Gurney condoling with me for being at Oxford.

Bay our negst beetigg be berry [strikeout] [illegible] [/strikeout] add birthful, but dow I have a cold. Your affeg tiodate friedd,

Gerard Eb. Hobkids.

Last edit about 1 year ago by Joan Passarelli
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