Elderfield, Otterbourne, Winchester
St. S[imon]. & J[ude]. [28 October] 1868

MS location unknown. Printed in Coleridge, Life 237-8

My dear Mr. Butler
Thanks. I wish I felt more worthy of being an Exterior Sister,1 but I am thankful to be joined to what is good, though I do not think you would care to have me if you knew how I ‘shrink when hard service must be done,’2 and what a spoilt child I have been ever since I grew up, very nearly useless in anything practical. But I will constantly use the prayer, and I hope whenever I can come to Wantage that I may be admitted.

I wish we could have seen you again. The church is the same still, and has its atmosphere about it, as much I think as possible. I wish the Wilsons had been there, they bring breaths of the old times with them, but altogether it was rather like the Tate and Brady verse that begins

I sigh whene’er my musing thoughts –3

When you read your novel, do let it be Nigel Bartram’s Ideal, one of Warne’s Companion Library – shilling books- it is by the little lady who showed us over St. Cross, and I think has a great deal in it.

Is Emma inclined Goslingwards? Shall I tell the Senior Gosling to send her the names and rules?

Yours affectionately
C. M. Yonge

1She had become an Exterior Sister of the Community of St Mary the Virgin, Wantage, a sisterhood founded by Butler in 1848.
2It is interesting that CMY applied to herself this poem by John Henry Newman. Although it subsequently gained the title 'Flowers without Fruit', when it appeared in Lyra Apostolica it was called 'Deeds not Words':

Prune thou thy words; the thoughts control
That o'er thee swell and throng;--
They will condense within thy soul,
And change to purpose strong.

But he who lets his feelings run
In soft luxurious flow,
Shrinks when hard service must be done,
And faints at every woe.

Faith's meanest deed more favor bears,
Where hearts and wills are weighed,
Than brightest transports, choicest prayers,
Which bloom their hour, and fade.

3Coleridge transcribes 'missing', but the quotation, from Tate and Brady's version of Psalm 43 5:4, runs:

I sigh, whene'er my musing thoughts
Those happy days present,
When I with troops of pious friends
Thy temple did frequent;
Cite this letter

The Letters of Charlotte Mary Yonge(1823-1901) edited by Charlotte Mitchell, Ellen Jordan and Helen Schinske.

URL to this Letter is: https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/yonge/2288/to-the-reverend-william-john-butler-2

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