Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/150

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chap.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

February 27th, 1859.

Emily to her sister Miranda..

… Ockey has just received another Veronese to copy for her work at home. She has begun doing it so beautifully. She is distressed at only working three hours on Dulwich days; so she has begun working in her spare time at the College, and by that she will manage six hours every day. …

We are very regular with our reading three evenings a week from nine to ten. Mama reads and Ockey and I work. … I think Ockey is becoming converted to Shakespeare. Dear Mama reads it so beautifully.


February, 1859.

My dear Mr. Ruskin,

I thank you for your letter. "What has been the matter?" you ask. Physically, only this, I have severe pains in walking distances that I used to manage easily. But you would quite laugh if you saw me, to hear me speak of want of strength.

But the truth is that, if enough is as good as a feast, too little must be as bad as a famine; and I feared that I had just too little for my work. But everyone agrees that it isn't fatigue that has made me ill, but responsibility and worry and want of change. It's my own fault. I ought to take things more quietly and not think that so very much depends on my deciding wisely, and not nearly break my heart if things go wrong for a time.

I think you're mistaken about the teaching, which is hopeful and refreshing. As to sentiment there are few people who have not stronger feelings than I have. I assure you, I am considered the person in the family,