Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/111

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III
91
DIFFICULTIES OF THE CHILDREN'S LIVES

that, they have less of an appearance to keep up. Are they better for it? Does that effort to appear something not help to keep up self-respect? I rather think it does. But in all classes there is the same care; all thought bent upon that which must be paid for, whether to-morrow's dinner, or neat gloves in which to go to church next Sunday. But God be thanked for English home life! say I, whenever I come in from visiting anywhere. See how, if one is ill, all the calculations are gone and forgotten in a moment; and the full ardour of love is given with a depth of tenderness that withers in a moment all worldly considerations.—I saw Louisa to-night set out to walk about four miles home, after coming from Netting Hill this morning,—walking twice from here to Devonshire Street, and I do not know how many miles yesterday. I stood and watched her among the hurrying crowd. She was walking slowly, for her feet were terribly sore, and as she was lost to view, I noticed how the gas-light flared in the foggy night on the worn faces near me.


October 27th, 1856.

To Mary Harris.

I am so much disappointed not to finish the illumination. But what a day I have had! One continual whirl of doing and remembering, taking addresses, examining pupils, covering books, sorting copy-books, but (most tiring of all) trying to attend to fifty people at once, with the knowledge that at least five of them will be offended if they think themselves the least in the world slighted, and that they think I have no right to be indifferent to what they think. I am so glad to-morrow night I shall see Mr. Maurice. Oh! Mary, think of that!