Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/164

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144
CHAP.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

"The Home" always seemed to me very beautiful books. If we might add one copy of the "Lectures on Great Men" to the Library and one of the "Feats on the Fiord" I think it would be well; the former would be a most valuable addition, and the more often it was read the better. I don't know the price of Kingsley's "Good News" nor whether it be much read, or if not whether or no it would be worth while to get it for Mary Moore's benefit. I know very well the harm that would be done by any one reading these books only; and I would give you a far more serious list if I were able, provided always that they were great books of their kind. None of the books that I have read of a more studious kind seem to me the least suited to them; and of course you will remember that, where study is voluntary, it is begun because something has become living and interesting to us, as poets and writers of fiction often can make things, and people who love actual fact, like Ruskin and Carlyle, so seldom do. I don't mean to exclude the two last from amongst the poets; but there is a great deal of simple fact and logic, untouched by feeling, in both. It often seems to me that, if we all had more of the poet nature, we should get people much more interested in all things near and far; and then, if we loved truth more, they would go thro' much otherwise dry hard work to know facts. And one thing more, we mustn't forget that reading forms but a small portion of a working woman's life.


103, Milton St., Dorset Sq.,
May 29th, 1859.  

To Miranda.

I have Ruskin's notes ready to send you by the next opportunity; and they will tell you far more