Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/195

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A VISIT TO RUSKIN

drawings are now right and ready for use; in fact he wants them at once that they may be put into the hands of the engraver. I am to do four more, small, but, Ruskin says, difficult examples of inferior work—and one bit from Turner … I had a quite delicious hour and a quarter at Ruskin's on Friday. We talked on many interesting subjects. …

Snowball fell down yesterday when I was riding him. Mama and Minnie were being driven by Gertrude just behind. If anyone else had been driving, I must have been run over; but G., with her grand calmness and power, stopped Ariel at once, turning her to one side. I am only shaken, not hurt at all. I was not thrown, but fell with Snowball.


Christmas, 1859.

To Miss Baumgartner.

On Friday I was shown into Ruskin's study. One window had the shutters shut; the table was covered with books and papers; the fire burned brightly; at one window Ruskin sat drawing from a Turner, all squared over that it might be reduced. With his own exquisite elegance and ease, which enables him to do the oddest things in a way that one can't feel rude, instead of rising, he threw himself back in his chair and shook hands with me, as I stood behind; then he rose and giving me his chair walked to the fire—and then, Emma, he produced the loveliest drawings of boughs of oak to show me, one beautifully foreshortened, and explained the growth of it to me; how every leaf sends down a little rib that thickens the stems—how the leaves grow in spirals of five. He got a bit, and showed me the section. They were lovely. Then he told me that he wanted me to do an example of