Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/178

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158
chap.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

ample, as my balance sheet next week will show you ; spend it in any way that will be most useful to you in promoting health, rest, and knowledge ; we are getting, one way, or another, an immense amount of change and rest here, and I earnestly hope you will do the same to the best of your power. ... I do indeed sympathise with you about church ; it is a quite inexpressible blessing, and must be specially so to you. ... I have read Tennyson's "Idylls of the King." I consider the whole book glorified by Arthur's last speech to Guenevere. Tennyson takes the view that, if she had been pure and worked with Arthur, his noble efforts and reforms would have lived and triumphed. He goes away to fight his best knight, all his hopes and successes blighted. I always did like Launcelot, in spite of everything ; and I do still. There is a lovely character too, called Enid. But the whole book is painfully impressed on my mind, as written by a man, so vividly and perpetually conscious of sensuality, tho' of so much that is noble ; but I should love to possess the book. Oh it is so real ! I am reading, too, Carlyle's " Cromwell" with intensest interest. Mama [1] is so very very happy in her life, it is quite delightful. I have answered your question briefly, because I'm so sure of the answer. . . . We want to see that we and our work are not essential to the world ; that, if we do our work imperfectly, so that we love Him, that is what He asks. He can save and teach people without us. My own dearest, God will lead us all, will He not ? We know how our blunders of judgment, and want of power can never hinder His work ; that He asks us, not for great works, but self-forgetting peaceful hearts ; that our wisdom at best can fathom

  1. She was teaching all day.