Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/228

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206
chap.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

whispers ; and my children, who did their work quite self-reliantly, and waited with gentlest service on us ; and poor old women who sent daily to ask, and teachers who offered all service to set us free, and friends who drove in to bring flowers and grapes, and servants who were like rocks of strength : there wasn't one person, who didn't show love and helpfulness far above what one could have dreamed or hoped.

July 25th, 1863.

To Miss Baumgartner.

Minnie and I had been at Ruskin's, talking for two hours about faith. It has left upon us both an impression of the deepest solemnity. Minnie says joy. Well yes, I say joy too. . . . I am sitting in the hush of an examination ; the children each at a separate table are deep in sums ; so strangely do the little things of this world blend themselves with the great, all these strange duties leading one on to the great thoughts and facts that lie below.

14, Nottingham Place,

September 1st, 1863.

To Emily from her Mother.

Dear Octa has just arrived. She has been so happy at Leicester. She says she never had such a fight to get away from any place. They were so happy together, those girls. Octa spirited them up to all kinds of things, made designs for L.'s carvings, inspired one of them to come up to town and go in for a Latin certificate at Queen's ; gave A. hints about village schools, etc.