Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/74

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54
chap.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

no change of circumstances, before death or after it, could ever make us conscientious or zealous, or gentle; and that I was quite sure that, if any one of them could have done more good in any other position, they would have been there.

Mama has asked me to be sure to say that Mr. Vansittart Neale is very much interested in your uncle's plan, and that he is here on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. … I am very sorry that I cannot send the plan of the Ladies' College in this letter; I will do so on the first opportunity. I send you two addresses which I wish you would read, as I should like you to know something of Mr. Maurice. If you could know, as I know, the unwearied energy, the untiring devotion with which he works; how he has established the Associations, the Working Men's College, and now the College for Working Women, you could not fail to respect him. But, if to this was added the consciousness that he had been the agent of showing you the ground on which you were standing, the sun by whose light alone you could work! It has been my very earnest prayer that I may be able to prevent some from living on speculations, even as long as I lived on them. When first I met your uncle, I had just begun to know Mr. Maurice, apart from the band with whom he was working,—just begun to long for the certainty of which he spoke;—to be utterly weary of conjecturing; and I think I owe a great deal to the impression of your uncle's face and voice. They seemed so calm, so fixed; but nothing except real work, real intercourse with people who needed comfort, could ever have given me strength. Again, after three years, we have met; and I am still crying for more earnest faith, but only for others now. I do thank him. I do thank you and every one who