Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/162

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142
CHAP.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

happy expression on the Florentine faces; it was quite pleasant; even the little dust-heap boys had the colours on their ragged hats. I wonder how it will all end. What a terrible thing war is. A thing for the ninth and not the nineteenth century. …

B.[1] told me to say we have had a most peaceable revolution; and there is no danger. It seems the Grand Duke first refused everything that was demanded; but afterwards said he would do anything; but the people would not accept then.


Milton Street, 
May 12th, 1859.

Octavia to Gertrude.

I've enjoyed all. It is right to let people hear of joy in this world. We were so delighted with Mortain, where there are immense grey granite rocks, and soft green dells of richest grass, bright with millions of flowers. … I saw showers of rain in the distance changed to bright mist, as they were between me and the sun, and the mist swept over the waves of blue hills, and from higher still among wastes of moor desolate with wind, tho' bright with furze and cranberry, to which I climbed with hands and feet. I saw the sea, nine miles away, one golden blaze, on which the motionless grey rock of Mt. St. Michel stood faint and clear and firm. I delighted in the diligences. We always took the coupé, and there we were almost always alone. … The view from the top of the castle of Mt. St. Michel was magnificent, rising suddenly 300 feet out of the flat sand. This granite rock is very impressive; it had a wonderful tendency to become deep purple and has a look of solemn solitude which is rather increased than

  1. Miss Emily Smith.