Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/27

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9
PARENTAGE AND CHILDHOOD

always ready for a joke. To-day her Papa said, "Take care or you will have a downfall." "That I should not mind," said Ockey, "if the down was there when I fell," and then she laughed.


Leeds, 1843.

Ockey learns to read very nicely. She is a very funny little girl; this is the way she talks. "Mama, I am as hot as if I were on the fire." "Mama, I shall never button this shoe if I were to try till the world is knocked down." She says things are as ugly as coal. The other day she told Minnie that she should "like to have a field so large that she could run about in it for ever."


From Octavia (at the age of four).

This letter shows her early love of colour, especially red.

We have a box full of silks. I gave Miranda a beautiful piece, it was velvet and the colours were black, purple, yellow and white and green. Miranda gave me a beautiful piece of crimson plush. Miranda has a book called The Peacock at Home and it has three stories in it.


Mrs. Hill to Gertrude.

November, 1845.

On Monday it is Ockey's birthday. She will be seven years old. She intends to give me a patchwork bag on that day—and she sits on a play box placed on a window-board, and looks so pretty, sewing earnestly away, never thinking that I am watching her. Every now and then she looks out at the passers by: they know every boy and girl, cat, dog, and donkey in the