Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/267

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VISIT TO MISS HARRIS

looked so pretty—their untidiness only went for picturesqueness. They had cakes, biscuits and oranges ; but except one or two boys, the flowers interested them more than the cake. Florence played at trap with the boys and Mr. Smale.

Derwent Bank,

July 22nd, 1868.

Octavia to Miss Mayo.

The time of my leaving here draws sadly near and I have done so little—mostly weeding I think, and that is so interesting, it keeps me out of doors, not standing or walking and yet gives me something to do. It is quiet and nice and I like the smell of the earth and the soothing monotony of the movement and thought. We have not been reading anything of any depth or weight ; usually we do here, but somehow this time we have read scraps of things, and what I should call decidedly light reading. , "Scenes in Clerical Life," part of Chaucer, the "Story of Doom" (I am delighted with Laurence), a good deal of Browning, and a little of Thackeray.

Ben Rhydding, Leeds,

August 3rd, 1868.

To Miss Mayo. I want Dr. Macleod to let me leave, as I am so without definite illness now ; and it hardly seems right to stay here merely to gain strength ; but they won't even let me speak on the subject yet ; and nothing is so provoking as to leave things half done ; so I must let the matter be finally decided by them.

(Very warm expressions of admiration and gratitude for Dr. Macleod.)