Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/363

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GREAT DUTIES AND SMALL

Miranda has told you of Miss Potter,[1] who has been staying here. She wants to stay on for, possibly, two or three years. She is very bright and happy here ; extremely capable, and has been through a good deal in her life, though she is young. She seems to fit in among us very well. By the way, dost thou know I have found a motto in George Herbert which I intend to appropriate, as expressive of the way that I get on now, by means of my friends ? "A dwarf, on a giant's shoulder, sees further of the two." We have chosen a pretty one for the Girls' Institute in B. Court " God hath oft a great share in a little house."

14, Nottingham Place,
December 12th, 1875.

To Miss F. Davenport Hill.

... I do love life and all it brings very deeply, and should like to live long too, to see the progress of so many things that I care for ; I think a past is as great a help to a life as to an institution. It seems as if one were bound to live up to it. What I always fear about my own life is the tendency to excuse myself from small daily duties ; yet I am certain they are the real test of life. I don't mean that great claims ought to be sacrificed to small ones, nor that the duties remain the same for a woman as for a girl. Many small manual duties pass wholly away ; but it is by the small gracious- nesses, by the thoroughness of the out-of-sight detail, that God will judge our spirit and our work. My difficulty is always to secure this exquisite thoroughness, which

alone seems to make the work true, and yet to delegate

  1. Now Lady Courtney.