My dear child, the only answer I dare give to that is: Whatever other purposes she may have made it for, she made it at least for this—that you and I should come to it this day, and look at, and talk over it, and become thereby wiser and more earnest, and we will hope more humble and better people. Whatever else Lady Why may wish or not wish, this she wishes always, to make all men wise and all men good. For what is written of her whom, as in a parable, I have called Lady Why?
“The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old.
“I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
“When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
“Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
“While as yet He had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
“When He prepared the heavens, I was there: when He set a compass upon the face of the depth:
“When He established the clouds above: when He strengthened the fountains of the deep:
“When He gave to the sea His decree, that the waters should not pass His commandment: when He appointed the foundations of the earth:
“Then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him:
“Rejoicing in the habitable part of His earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
“Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.”
That we can say, for it has been said for us already. But beyond that we can say, and need say, very little. We were not there, as we read in the Book of Job, when God laid the foundations of the earth. “We see,” says St. Paul, “as in a glass darkly, and only know in part.” “For who,” he asks again, “has known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been His counsellor? . . . For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Therefore we must not rashly say, this or that is Why a thing has happened; nor invent what are called “final causes,” which are not Lady Why herself, but only our little notions of what Lady Why has done, or rather what we should have done if we had been in her place. It is not, indeed, by thinking that we shall find out anything about Lady Why. She speaks not to our eyes or to our brains, like Madam How, but to that inner part of us which we call our hearts and spirits, and which will endure when eyes and brain are turned again to dust. If your heart be pure and sober, gentle and truthful, then Lady Why speaks to you without words, and tells you things which Madam How and all her pupils, the men of science, can never tell. When you lie, it may be, on a painful sick-bed, but with your mother’s hand in yours; when you sit by her, looking up into