Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/229

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RICH AND POOR

November 29th, 1863.

To Miss Baumgartner.

We have all felt some time or other how much we owe to those who have consented to be served by us ; and I sometimes dream about the time that shall come when we shall try "to keep up the spirit of our poor," not by shutting up their hearts in cold dignified independence, but by giving them others to help, and thus rousing the deepest of all motives for self help, that which is the only foundation on which to build our services to others. How strangely then, when all confess mutual dependence, and glory in mutual service, will all our strange words sound about admiration for those who starve in silence ; as if that silent starvation were not the most awful protest against all who might have been near friends, who might have been noble Christian ministers. ... I have been thinking very much of the past, because of the sad news from Australia of my dear old playfellow Charlton Howitt. They sent me a copy of the Govt. Provincial Engineer, saying it should be sent to me as "one of dear Charlton's old old friends" ; and they all seem to bear it as calmly and faithfully as they were sure to do.

Offley Cottage, Luton, Beds.,

December 22nd, 1863.

To Miss Baumgartner.

It happens that Andy's school has moved to the very room which, in the first old days of London work, Mama took as a workroom, now twelve years ago,

I had not been to the room till the day of this party, and Andy had not remembered it.

And there I stood again after twelve years, with a