‘Sir’, said Merlin in answer to the question which the Director had just asked him. ‘I give you great thanks. I cannot indeed understand the way you live and your house is strange to me. You give me a bath such as the Emperor himself might envy, but no one attends me to it; a bed softer than sleep itself, but when I rise from it I find I must put on my own clothes with my own hands as if I were a peasant. I lie in a room with windows of pure crystal [...] but I lie in it alone with no more honour than a prisoner in a dungeon. [...]Merlin’s comments may have been Lewis’s oblique way of referring to the modern intellectual’s difficulty of finding people willing to save him from having to do everything for himself — already a significant issue in 1945 when That Hideous Strength was published.
You seem to live neither like a rich man nor a poor one: neither like a lord nor a hermit.’ *
* C.S. Lewis, The Cosmic Trilogy, Bodley Head 1989, p.649.