Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/188

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168
chap.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

so completely, and then carrying me on to the only hopes and thoughts that can satisfy one at such times), that it seems to me as if I knew her, and that she really had suffered and thought with me. . . .

Why is entering into other people's feelings, even sad, so restful ? Is it not because we are meant to bear one another's burdens ? So I've been reading authors who don't echo my own feelings so much, and trying more than ever to understand all kinds of people. . . .

I always feel so solemnly about my own birthday ; ... Your way of spending yours makes me ashamed, for ... in the evening we shall have friends, who are far from being among the sad and poor. ... I never have seen any but specially nice people on my birthday.

On the 5th, I shall take my drawing class to South Kensington which I shall consider also a kind of celebration of my birthday. About Arthur, I believe that the duty of a wife, even of a friend, is, with regard to a man's work, so terribly misunderstood. Mr. Ludlow says, "He sacrificed his wife to his Kound Table," not seeing that, as he loved her, had she been anything worthy of the name of wife, her highest joy and duty should have been to work for it with him ; and that it was his great glory that he expected this of her. . . . And this is true, in part, of all relations and friends, the glory of each is not in demanding attention, but in love, sympathetic fellow-work, ready sympathy. . . . Tried by the precious test of facts near home, I say my theory is right ; and I think you, of all people, believe it.