Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/342
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL
work. They say the omissions are from ignorance, and will be willingly corrected when pointed out, as everyone wants to work it. I dare hardly hope; it seems so very near the realisation of much one has wanted so long. Stansfeld was there, and was so kind, and Mr. Shaw Lefevre. I am a great deal in B. Court just now, and right down among the people there, which is very nice. I am sensible how much I lack swiftly turning perception, and unfailing gentleness, and a certain cautious reservation of speech. My only chance among the people is trying to be all right, so that it mayn't matter their seeing right thro' me. I have no powers of diplomacy; these I don't regret, but the power of non-expression might be an advantage. However, I don't get into great messes somehow; and I suppose one was made like this, to do some particular work in the world. The people are delightful down there, so responsive, so trustful. … Dost thou know if ever I write again I shall make a point of dwelling on Ruskin's beginning the work? I fancy he feels sadly his schemes have not succeeded; and they only want the admixture of humdrum elements to make them into bodies; the soul is all there. His share is the soul, and this ought to come prominently out.
I enclose the report of Stanley's sermon, and of Mr. Kay Shuttleworth's speech. …
I daresay I may feel more courageous after to-morrow, when the public-house trial comes on. We quite expect to be defeated here, but hope to win on the appeal. It will be very horrid to-morrow; there is such strong personal feeling. …Miss Martin, the lady from Leeds who is staying here, is so very nice. She has great power, and will do the work admirably. She has great perception of character,