Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/224

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202
chap.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

hold bright and sociable for all the children ; and I feel more every day that every right healthy joy is a little bit of true riches the end for which really all work is done. . . . Tell dear Flo. I will write next time, and assure her I remember all her directions about half hours after dinner very seriously and very tenderly, because they remind me of her. I hope she'll find my education improved on her return. Give her a kiss for me.

January 18th, 1863.

To Miss Baumgartner.

We are all reassembled for work after Xmas dispersion ; and my little troop occupy much of my time. We are all well, and busy. I am succeeding capitally. Ruskin, you know, perhaps, has gone, giving me the grandest drawing lesson, an hour and a half quite alone, thorough teaching ; and then it is so nice ; I do feel we are such thorough friends. He talks so quietly, so trustfully, so (I had almost written) reverently ; and then the thought made me laugh. But I think you'll know what I mean. He saw me again the next day at Burne-Jones's, introducing me to him and his wife ; and after a little time, asking to speak with me on business. We went into a quiet little room ; and, after business was over, had the most delicious talk. He asked me to write to him in Switzerland, saying that I was "the one" (and then with his accustomed accuracy correcting the statement to), "one of the few" people from whom he wished to hear ; and then once more he qualified it by saying, "You tell me just the things I wish to hear." All this, however, this quiet acknowledged friendship can hardly be described even in words, to me so precious, which expressed it, because it