Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/485

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QUESTION OF LIVING WITH THE POOR

Hotel Bellevue, Wäggis,

May 24th, 1885.

To her Mother.

I am much interested in the Spectator cutting, tho' I believe myself that the strain of living in the worst places would be too trying yet to educated people; it would diminish their strength, and so their usefulness; The reform must be, I believe, more gradual. The newspapers go in for such extremes, from utter separation to living in a court! I should urge the spending of many hours weekly there, as achieving most just now, because it is less suicidal than the other course, and more natural.

Hotel Lukmanner, Ilanz, Grisons,

June 7th, 1885.

To her Mother.

Dissentis seems to me a very old-world place. A dear old lady keeps the inn, which is very comfortable; but one seems nearer the life of the people here than where modern hotels have invaded. . . . How striking to me is the character of every separate house in these valleys. Something, of course, is due to the varieties of the ground, but much, too, I cannot help seeing, to the fact that the houses belong to the inhabitants. I wonder if we shall live to see a larger number of English owners? I doubt it. It seems to me that the impediments come by no means mainly from the landlords. Of course they would cling, especially in towns, to possession where value is rising, but I doubt the tenants caring to buy much for occupation. They, like the landlords, like to buy houses rising in value, with an idea of letting or selling; but few, I fancy, desire to bind themselves to one spot and