Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/147

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CHAPTER IV


MILTON STREET, DORSET SQUARE
DECEMBER
, 1858—APRIL, 1861.


When Miranda went to Italy, in 1858, Octavia suggested to her grandfather that it would be more economical, as well as more comfortable, if she and her mother and Emily could move into unfurnished rooms. Octavia said that, if he would lend the money for furniture, she would be able to repay him out of what would be saved on rent. He kindly undertook to lend the required amount; and, after the rooms had been secured, Octavia made out a list of necessary furniture, with approximate prices. Then after her day’s work, she visited various shops, and with Gertrude’s and Emily’s help chose what was required. If she spent more on one thing, she took the amount off something else; and she determined that she would keep to the fixed sum. This was achieved. Then she planned and cut the carpet, and each evening she and Emily sat on the floor sewing it. One night they worked till 12 o’clock. All this time Octavia was going each morning to Dulwich, where she stood drawing for about four hours, then she went to Great Ormond Street to the Women’s Classes, and walked from there to Milton Street, Dorset Square. Yet she was as merry as possible, and sang and repeated poetry while she and Emily were at work. And in due time she repaid the money that she had borrowed.


103, Milton St., Dorset Sq., 
January 4th, 1859.

Mrs. Hill to her daughter Miranda.

I only came to this house to-day. It is so very pretty; you and Florence would be enchanted with it.

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