Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/221

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VISITS FROM RUSKIN

five yards apart are the cuttings. When these are sufficiently worked, the spaces left between (called pillars) are taken out, and the roof supported with props, which soon give way, and the passages gradually are closed.

April 27th, 1862.

To Miss Baumartner.

Ruskin is coming to us on Wednesday. . . . There is something almost solemn in the intense joy. . . I can remember when he came to us when we were so very very poor, and home was like a little raft in a dark storm ; where the wonder every day was whether we could live thro' it ; and now the sea looks calm, even if there are waves ; and we have leisure to look at the little boat in which we sail, and wonder if it will ever be painted with bright colours. ... I remember too how once Ruskin's coming was like some strange joy ; any little accident might have removed him for ever from all connection with us. Now the silent work of years has bound us together in a sort of friendship, which, whether it leads to outward communication or not, years, and separation, and silences will not touch ; and this visit comes like the expression of a friendship naturally, and like a bit of a whole.

14, Nottingham Place,

August 31st, 1862.

To Mrs. Shaen.

I am in town now to take care of the young friends, who are to live with us. The work is extremely interesting to me ; all the girls have some special interest to me. Annie and Edith Harris from their relationship to my best friend ; I. from her position ;