Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/353

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QUALIFICATIONS FOR COMMITTEE

who have power of grasping facts. I should have been urging them earnestly to consider quite solemnly the importance of the duty they have to discharge, and to put no one on out of politeness, or because they "must," or because they have this or that influence, or have given time, or will "feel"; to let no minor considerations come in; but to concentrate their full force on the thought "how is this organising of charity, this great work of caring for our poor to be achieved?" And I should have been adding that, in my opinion, experience among, or care for, the poor was a more essential qualification for a seat on the Admin. than the other one power to grasp principles; and for this reason that the knowledge of the poor will not be gained afterwards at Buckingham St.; but the principles may be learnt by the mere fact of dealing with large numbers of bare facts, probably will be learnt there by any men who have it in them ever to learn them at all. This and a few words about the actual men to be selected would have been my contribution to the work, had I been there. But now I feel it is all out of my power to touch, and I rejoice more than words would say to see how triumphantly it and much else goes without me. A few words would influence so many things if I wrote them; but I may not; and so instead I have the privilege of looking, as if I were dead, to see how they go when I do not speak a word, and learning first how magnificently they go in the main in the way I have hoped for so long; and secondly how little it matters that much goes otherwise than it would, if I wrote ever so small a sentence.