Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/199

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MISS JEX BLAKE

decisively. I see we quite agree that you can only call out and make living that which is in a nature. Kuskin meant a great truth when he said, "I can never alter myself. I think I had better make the best of myself as I am." When I said, "I am very much altered during the last few years," he laughed very kindly, saying, "Oh, no, you're not ; you're just the same as ever ; only you know more."

But it does make all the difference in the world whether we are fully developing all that we are meant to be, conquering all bad passions, or not.

103, Milton Street,

February 5th, 1860.

To her sisters Miranda and Florence.

I am afraid that it is long since I wrote to you ; but of course I am always thinking of you both, dears, and longing to have you home again, that you may really know all our doings and lives. Mine lately you would assuredly consider rather of the dissipated kind. I've been giving some book-keeping lessons to Miss J. B. She is a bright, spirited, brave, generous young lady living alone in true bachelor style. It took me three nights to teach her, and she begged me to come to dinner each time. . . . She has a friend, who is killing herself by hard work to support her younger sisters. ... I gather she would gladly give her friend help, for she speaks most sadly of the "modern fallacy" "that the money must be earned." She thinks it might be given when people are dear friends ; she says they've given the most precious thing ; and what difference can a little money make? I am so very happy about my work, now that I've finished nine drawings altogether for the " Modern Painters." Oh,