Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/131

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III
111
DEPTH BETTER THAN BREADTH

for a lifetime's heart and thought, I think. In fact each work seems to be interesting in almost exact proportion to the amount I can devote to it, capable of infinite expansion in breadth or depth. For my part I would always rather choose the latter, would rather take up wholly a few individuals or pictures or books, and love and know and study them deeply, than have any more superficial (though wider) sympathies; and my trial is, and has always been, that I have to tear myself away from this intense grasp and absorbing interest, to love and know and help in fresh and fresh directions. I have often felt like a perpetually uprooted plant. Only somehow in looking back, I find continuity and deep inner relation between the various works and times of my life, and always find the past a possession because in memory I have it still. …

I am so glad you will not turn the ignorant ones out of the class, at any rate yet. I know well one weakens one's hands by not keeping one distinct aim before one; but then one never likes not to meet any effort, however small, on the part of people under one's charge. I have not always the courage to give myself pain of that kind, I believe.

How very beautiful the lines on the Supper are!


4, Russell Place,
August 1st, 1858.

To Miranda and Emily.

Take dearest Mama under your special care, for she will not take care of herself under her own. Send her back stronger, I charge you. Also think of your old sister here, and how she loves you both, and thinks of you. You won't think her unkind not to come, knowing what prevents her, and she hopes her previous