Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/132

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112
CHAP.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

consent proves to you that work and whims wouldn't have detained her. Be merry, be happy, be free; send for anything conveyable that you want, and trust to Aladdin's lamp. See what grand things it has done already, and have faith.


August 8th, 1858.1em

To Gertrude.

If we were all less self-occupied, what a depth of beauty and order we should see in the influence of persons and things on people, traced in the momentary lighting up of an eye, or the slight quiver of a lip, which we lose perhaps in a fit of self-contemplation; and that revelation of God's purpose and way of work passes unnoticed, a cause of praise and power lost to us. And then I would wish most lovingly to grasp the whole purpose of each life, and influence of details on it, to see all the strong impulses leading to selfishness or pride, or any form of evil; to watch, not unaiding, the struggle with them; to contemplate with intense sympathy and reverence every purifying affection, stimulating hope, earnest purpose, self-control, and every form of good; to look at all, not as one standing aloof or above; but as fellow-worker, fellow-sufferer; to trace the same tendency to evil and good in myself; to find the point or points, as one always does, in which everyone is so much greater than oneself, that one bows before it in joy and cries, "Thank God for it."


4, Russell Place, 
August 15th, 1858.

To Mrs. Hill.

R.[1] went on Wednesday. Her mother was much nicer at the last. I hear from Brighton that the child

  1. The little toy-worker who had cared so much for the cat.