Letter from Gustav Holst to Ralph Vaughan Williams

Thursday [May or June 1926]

St. Paul's

Dear R
This is splendid of you.  And its importance is not altered by the Gen. Strike being off.  Your letter acted as a much needed tonic and made me do some hard thinking while walking yesterday.  I love every word of it and agree with it all except the last sentence.
For I find that I am a hopeless half logger and am prepared to sit on the fence as long as possible partly through laziness and through force of habit but chiefly through discovering that it I am a fool in music I am the damdest of damned fools in everything else.  Or to put it in other words I still believe in the Hindu doctrine of Dharma which is one's path in life.  If one is lucky (or maybe unlucky - it doesn't matter) to have a clearly appointed path to which one comes naturally whereas any other one is an unsuccessful effort, one ought to stick to the former.  And I am oriental enough to believe in doing so without worrying about the 'fruits of action' that is, success or otherwise.
It applies to certain elementary school teachers I have met as well as to Bach.
Of course in an emergency one has to throw all this overboard but I fear I only do so at the last moment.  And if I don't - if I try and think things out carefully and calmly - I am always wrong.  This has happened so often that I am convinced that Dharma is the only thing for me.  And I don't think that I and such as I should be allowed to vote.
This is all first person singular but that cannot be helpful.  I suppose it is really a confession.
However that may be it was a great joy to read and reread your letter.  I am free each evening except next Monday if you feel like a meal and a talk.  Unless I hear hear1 to the contrary I shall conclude that Sancta Civ is June 102 and B min. the 11th.
yrs ever
G


1.  sic.
2.  The first London performance of Sancta Civitas was given by the Bach Choir on 9 June 1926.

Citation: 
Heirs and Rebels, Letter XXVII

Location of copy:

Format: 
Letter
Letter No.: 
VWL3903
Original database number: 
Holsy
Editor's notes: 
?BL shelfmark