Father Payne eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 442 pages of information about Father Payne.
times.  And that is the best reason we have for suppressing as far as we can our evil dispositions, and for living bravely and freely in happy energy, that we shall make a little better start next time.  It is not the particular people we love who matter—­it is the power of loving other people—­and if we meet the same people as those we loved again, we shall love them again; and if we do not, why, there will be others to love.  One of the worst limitations I feel is the fact that there are so many thousand people on earth whom I could love, if I could but meet them—­and I am not going to believe that this wretched span of days is my only chance of meeting them.  We need not be in a hurry—­and yet we have no time to waste!”

He stopped for a moment, and then added:  “When I lived in London, and was very poor, and had either too much or not enough to do, and was altogether very unhappy, I used to wander about the streets and wonder how I could be so much alone when there were so many possible friends.  Just above Ludgate Railway Viaduct, as you go to St. Paul’s, there is a church on your left, a Wren church, very plain, of white and blackened stone, and an odd lead spire at the top.  It has hardly any ornament, but just over the central doorway, under a sort of pediment, there is a little childish angel’s head, a beautiful little baby face, with such an expression of stifled bewilderment.  It seems to say, ’Why should I hang here, covered with soot, with this mob of people jostling along below, in all this noise and dirt?’ The child looks as if it was just about to burst into tears.  I used to feel like that.  I used to feel that I was meant to be happy, and even to make people happy, and that I had been caught and pinned down in a sort of pillory.  It’s a grievous mistake to feel like that.  Self-pity is the worst of all luxuries!  But I think I owe all my happiness to that bad time.  Coming here was like a resurrection; and I never grudged the time when I was face to face with a nasty, poky, useless life.  And if that can happen inside a single existence, I am not going to despair about the possibility of its happening in many existences.  I dreamed the other night that I saw a party of little angels singing a song together, all absorbed in making music, and I recognised the little child of Ludgate Hill in the middle of them singing loud and clear.  He gave me a little smile and something like a wink, and I knew that he had got his promotion.  We ought all of us, and always, to be expecting that.  But we have got to earn it, of course.  It does not come if we wait with folded hands.”



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Father Payne from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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