Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/183

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MISS BAUMGARTNER'S HOUSE

of smooth bright green grass, a few brilliant flower borders, and a long bright old brick wall, a small cedar on the lawn ; but it is bounded at the bottom by the Ouse, a deep clear stream, across which is a pretty bridge leading to an embowered island, belonging to this house ; a water mill is above ; below the view of Hinchinbrook where Cromwell's uncle lived. The boathouse contains several boats ; one Miss B. pointed out to me as hers. She will teach me to row. She is very kind and interesting ; her mother, a nice old lady of whom I am rather afraid and rather fond. Her father very old. Her brother very fond of flowers, very nice, I think. They have lived here for years. It is very nice.

103, Milton Street, Dorset Square,

October 23rd, 1859.

To Miranda.

Your letter of delight about the music lessons gives me great pleasure. I received it one morning in a large wood-panelled dining-room, looking out to a smooth field set with large elms. I had just entered the room thro' one of three Gothic doors, after descending a low-stepped staircase with massive oaken banisters, into a large wood-panelled hall hung with old pictures. Just as I had finished your note, an old lady entered by another door, whom you would not at all have known, if you had been watching in a magic mirror ; a tall stately old lady dressed all in black, with a quick step and very kind face, holding in one hand a basket of keys, and in the other some scented-leaved verbena and heliotrope, some of which she gave to me ; and some was laid on the bright breakfast table for someone who had not yet arrived. The door opened, and there came in