Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/344

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322
CHAP.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

when Mr. Kay Shuttleworth began to speak, I thought I knew all that he was going to say, and was leaning back thinking, when suddenly my own name caught my ear. Mr. S. was speaking of the Macmillan article; and, instead of quoting dry facts and figures, he read aloud from it the description of the wonderful delight it gave me to see the courts laid open to the light and air. And then he read the bit about the Chairman of the Trust going over the old plans and photographs, and remarking on the changes, and the longing that arose that someone, someday, in London might be able to note similar purification. The words recalled vividly the intensity of the longing, and the wonderfully swift realisation of the prayer; and a great gush of joy rushed over me. But, besides that, somehow it seemed a blessed thing to have half suggested, and wholly anticipated the feeling on the part of that bright, promising young man, and thro' him to the whole House. One felt so small, so alone and out of sight; and there were thoughts bearing fruit in ways of which one had never dreamed. I can't tell how tiny it made me feel. Mr. Kay Shuttleworth happened to have told me that he had been spending Sunday in the country, and could not get the subject out of his head, and that he had re-read the article. I did not hear Mr. Rathbone's mention of my work, as I had gone to get some tea; my head was so very bad.

A Miss Martin, a friend of Mr. Estlin Carpenter's, is coming to stay with us till Easter, to learn our work, that she may help in the houses that they are purchasing in Leeds.

In am heartily enjoying my work in B. Court.