Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/50

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30
chap.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

using the powers He has given you; only look in sincerity and humility. It is only because I am humble, because I am content to give up my own ideas and notions, to take the truth because it is God's, to believe that it is good and right. It is only so I can discover harmony in this universe, and I am sent (he says) with a loud voice to proclaim this to you."


Ladies' Guild, 
December 5th, 1853.

To Gertrude.

Ruskin has been here. All went as well as I could possibly wish. He was most delighted with the things, as showing the wonderful power we possess of introducing and preserving colour. He gave us some most interesting and useful hints about colour, and ordered five slabs to be painted for him; adapting two of the designs he wanted from some we had, which Mr. Terry was to go to his house to do on Monday. He offered to lend us some things to copy. If you had seen the kind, gentle way in which he spoke, the interest he showed, the noble way in which he treated every subject, the pretty way in which he gave the order, and lastly, if you had seen him as he said on going away, his eyes full of tears, "I wish you all success with all my heart," you would have said with me that it was utterly wonderful to think that that was the man who was accused of being mad, presumptuous, conceited and prejudiced. If it be prejudice to love right and beauty, if it be conceited to declare that God had revealed them to you, to endeavour to make your voice heard in their defence, if it be mad to believe in their triumph, and that we must work to make them triumph, then he is all four, and may God make us