Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/230

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208
chap.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

deep sense of mighty love on all sides, to help me to do whatever I willed ; friends and sisters, pupils and servants watched and waited for sign and look that they might know what I wanted done ; and there was not one among the little pale faces lit up with unwonted joy, that I might not have committed to some strong friend to be cherished, if my own strength failed.

On the Sunday following I had eight young servants from different places, whom I have long known and watched, to go with me to receive the Communion, as we hope to do together each year.

As I came out, Mr. Hughes was waiting for me, asking, almost entreating, that one of us would teach his children. Finding that we really couldn't, he asked me to come to breakfast next day, and see Mrs. Hughes, to advise her about a governess.

They were extremely cordial and earnest, said that for years they had been longing to get us, but that Miss Sterling had always told them that we were too busy, which indeed is true. I was much touched by Mr. Hughes' grief about the children's hatred of lessons ; and finding that they wanted someone to take the children into the country for a month, till they could find a governess, I thought that I might take the work, and perhaps might get the little things through some difficulties, and so might make lessons pleasanter hereafter.

I gave my own pupils[1] three days' lessons. Minnie took the last three, after which they went in to the Cambridge Local Examinations. I came down here at three days' notice, and have succeeded beyond my brightest hopes.

  1. At Nottingham Place.