Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/226

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204
chap.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

sense not to object to the children's learning it, I shall go on with it steadily, preparing a lesson for them each week, and so shall learn much myself. I think you would think all our little flock very much improved, if you could see them. . . .

.... You will have heard, I suppose, of our magnificent concert for the blind. It was one of the most splendid evenings of my life. . . . M.E. is so delightful a child to me. I can't tell you how I enjoy her. I often long for you, dear, with all your sympathy with people in general, and power of making children happy. You know I've a damping cool sort of way that just stabs all their enjoyment. I don't think I've any child nature left in me. However, it will injure them less, that what they all want is to grow up. I mean S. and I. and M.E. want qualities, that will fit them for early usefulness, developed.

July 25th, 1863.

Mrs. Hill to Miranda.

.... I think neither M. nor O. can have found time to tell you about their visit to Ruskin. He entertained them grandly at luncheon. They stayed two hours talking on all kinds of high subjects. It seems M. said some very pithy things, which delighted him extremely, and which he afterwards quoted. He spoke of O.'s painting powers very highly—he was all kindness. M. says he seems so impressed with O.'s greatness, and he told someone she was the best person he knew. .... He said to O., "I don't like to blame people for what they do, when they are mad with grief or terror ; but I must say it was cruel of you to tell me about A.'s illness ; I was very ill at the time ; and it threw me back." She answered, "I didn't think——" "You