Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/113

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III
93
EFFECT OF SPIRITUAL BEAUTY

giving them trouble; and I—yes the fault always finds its way home—I get lazy and would rather dream and think, rather be silent than sing or talk; and so we very often stagnate, except as far as our hands are concerned. I must study something for them but when? … Andy says she is quite as ignorant about dress as you can possibly be. She thanks you very much for the lace, which she thinks beautiful. I say she because I know nothing about it, but do thank you very heartily, as far as I am capable of thinking on the subject.


November 9th, 1856.

To Mary Harris, who was visiting in Newgate.

If you knew or could imagine what effect the presence of a noble soul can have on those usually surrounded by a hurrying struggling crowd; what it is to be taught to look at spiritual beauty; what to a much worn care-pressed being it is to know at last that, shut out tho' she has seemed from all the best and most honourable around her, borne downwards as she has been by the weight of many sorrows, much anguish and inward evil, there is yet left, even on this earth, one who will take her as she is, and love her because she has that in her which is God given. This last she will learn afterwards, and I know that, deep in those hearts hardened by crime and degraded, there yet is human feeling to be called out by nothing so much as trust and love.


39, Devonshire Street,
November 9th, 1856.

To Mary Harris.

I thank God for work, and for so blessing our work. I believe I might often say with Ruskin