Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/103

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III
83
LETTER ABOUT A TOY-WORKER

39, Devonshire Street, Queen's Square, 
July 5th, 1856.

To the Mother of one of the Toy-makers.

Dear Mrs. J., I regret to have to tell Harriet not to return to work till Thursday next, as I have said that those children who do not earn five shillings in a week should lose three days' work. I am very sorry to be obliged to say this, but I hope it, or a sense of the necessity of being industrious, will soon render any such law unnecessary. I shall be as pleased as proud when the day arrives, when I see all the children steady, earnest, and eager to do all they can to help those near and dear to them. I am sure their idleness results more from want of thought than anything else; but they must try to overcome this; and if they fail to do this because it is right to do so, they must be taught to do so by other means.

However, I ought to say that Harriet has improved very much indeed lately; she has been so much more gentle and steady, and more earnest about her lessons. It is therefore with much pleasure that I give her Mr. Neale's invitation to spend a day at his house, and hope that she may grow more and more good, gentle, generous, and earnest, working for you, herself and all whom she can benefit, not only willingly but unceasingly; and I am sure she will find in quiet earnest work a happiness and peace which are far more joyous than giddiness. I ought to tell you how much I love her, and how much life and pleasure she gives to all here. I am pleased to see her take a deeper interest in things, because I am sure we all care too little, and not too much for things; and rightly directed, her love for