Letter to VW from Mary Everest Boole [21 July 1884?]

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Dear Lady Welby

Please let me have this from Julia back. I am keeping this Whit-Sunday &
Monday clear for Julia. You see what she says; in your own time & place to
see her; & whether you would like me to be there or not; & let me know; & I
will settle it with her, or rather with the cousin whom she
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will be staying.
I think I guess some of the 'cross'. Part of it is, the way the mere
'entourage' or life comes between you & what you would feel good to do, or
be. If the instrument employed is poverty or hard work or having to live in
a district where the 'good' is not, that is easy to recognize as God's
appointment. It is much harder when it is an intangible tangle of other
people's useless seeming arrangements & unreal wants; n'est-ce-pas? But it

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is all the same thing; it is that we are made to want the Eternal & not
what seems 'good' in our own eyes. Nevertheless I should like to help you
in a little of what you are missing, if you will let me. I don't like that
feverish self-reproach; (for your health's sake I mean). Besides, it gives
me a feeling as if a white orchid would bot be content with exhaling
fragrance; but wanted to come down from it's place & -- what shall I say?
Stand on a chair in the Park & preach the Gospel? Orgrind 
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corn for somebody?
Ah! I don't mean any flatteries ŕ la Rčnau. I don't like fine ladies one
bit. But I get so much from just looking quietly into you; & directly you
rouse yourself, & exert yourself, & want to do, or be, or teach, something
definite, it all goes, & you love power to help me. Be quiet dear; you are
such a help just being quiet, looking at God; & letting one see the
It has come to my lot to put aside very much of real good, real
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real friendships, simply because I wouldn't be dragged into any form of
teaching grand folks. I daresay it was wrong; I am sure it was often
self-conscious or silly. But I feel I have this good out of it all; I feel
quite clear that I have no temptation to toadying anybody; & now I feel I
can be quite free & give myself the luxury of letting myself learn all I
can learn by trying to help you.
Can't you see the difference between talking about God, & letting one see
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God reflected in you? To do that, you have to be at the proper angle with
the person He is to be reflected to. You are at the proper angle for me;
another person might be worth a dozen of you really, & yet not be at the
right angle. (That is what I meant about Mr Jukes; I don't mean anything,
except that I can "see" you & I can't see him at all). I get more good by
just thinking about you, without seeing you 'bodily' than by most people's
I have had a bath of utter peace today; such utter
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stillness & rest. I wonder how I could ever have been restless or wanted
anything but just what God sends. I was working with Mr. Marks, at a paper
about Maurice's gathering up of Messianic Prophecies. It was like spending
the morning among the mighty dead. (I have been working at it for a few
days by myself.) I feel as if I know Moses, -- ever so much better than
most of the people I have talked to!
I have written to tell Mrs. Surrey I'll call if she 
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You'll be quiet, won't you now?
You wish people to "pray" for you. That is not good for you, not active
'prayers'. It gives you temporary strength to do things that you could not
do otherwise, & which now you should not do. Ask you friends to be still
about you; to be still for you; to pray the "quietest" prayers; & not to
even wish that you should be able to do anything except be quiet & reflect
Yours ever,
M Boole