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Margaret's notes of her conversations with Arthur,

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[From Peter's Morgue:]

(No date (in Margaret Ll.D.’s handwriting):

Her own people being shut out. How he had seen Trixie and given her pieces of paper to keep. He didn’t see how S. could go on here – how in London she could go out among friends, and have the bits of the days filled in.

About Jimmy – how in all the real things of life his judgement was so good, tho’ he was silly about himself.

Consulted Dr. Fry about George – who thought not to tell him.

Dr. Fry said Our Father, and Bell wrote referring him to two passages. He did not care to put own construction on what was in Bible. Death was the end of a glorious thing, life. Life would be nothing without death or the risk of it.

Had never thought death shd. be a gloomy thing. Peter had seen this. How Michael and he were discussing what gift they would like best. Michael said not to die – but Peter saw it in the way Arthur did.

[Peter's comments:]

The first sentence in this note is obscure; it may be a continuation of some other note which has disappeared. There is no mention in any of the notes of visits from Grannie du M. in the final stages of Arthur’s illness or from Gerald or May at any stage. Guy was serving abroad.

I imagine the pieces of paper giving to Trixie were suggestions about Sylvia’s future: suggestions which he thought she might be better able to deal with than Margaret. But what is meant by Sylvia’s family being “shut out” I don’t in the lease know.

There is no hint anywhere of any profane or blasphemous thoughts in connection with Christianity or the Bible; and equally no hint, that I can see, of any belief. I suppose it was natural enough in the circumstances for the Rev. Bell to refer to the Bible, and the Rev. Fry to say the Lord’s Prayer. I fancy I am right in saying that Arthur had a high opinion of both of them. A distressing note later on suggest that Dr .F. was right in thinking George should not be told that his father was dying, and that his advice was disregarded with unfortunate results.

The story about myself (aged 10) and Michael (aged 6) discussing life and death leaves me unconvinced that young children have any comprehension of such things.


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