Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/185

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WORK FOR RUSKIN

now, and greatly longs to come up in the spring, to see the exhibitions, or earlier in order to see Ruskin.

When you can, will you look carefully at the tracery of the head window of the Campanile of Giotto at Florence, if you have an opportunity. I have the most splendid engraving by me in the "Seven Lamps." Also an arch from the faade of the Church of San Michele at Lucca. How you would delight in the book! I have not yet read it. He says the Gothic of Verona is far nobler than that of Venice, and that of Florence nobler than that of Verona. He says, that, in Italian traceries the whole proportion and power of the design is made to depend upon the dark forms.

November 20th, 1859.

To Miranda. Thanks for your sweet sympathetic letter. I think Ruskin is right. First, about work in general, I think he wishes us to perceive the wide difference between that which shows moral Tightness in the worker, and that which shows peculiar intellectual and other greatness. Then as to my work, Ruskin has set me to one which he believes to be the right training for an artist ; and he would be glad that at present I did not look beyond it ; first, because one must be contented to do a work before one can do it, and secondly, because he would then be sure I loved art, not only my own ambitious notions ; in addition to which he really longs to have things well copied. This is what I think on the subject ; but your letter was very delightful, dearest. . . .

Dearest Andy, how heartily I wish you all success in your work. It is just a year to-day since that terrible