Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/76

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56
chap.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

it must be connected with the last name, because there is no sure ground for it, except in the words "This is My commandment that ye love one another."

This name is indeed dear to me now. I never can forget (I do not think the recollection will ever grow fainter) the way they received me on Saturday. I had been ill, but insisted upon working. One of them suggested that they should be quiet; and I never had such complete silence, although I did not once tell them to be quiet, because I thought it hard to cramp them simply because I chose to work; and the next morning when I returned from my early walk, they were all over the house, to catch the first sight of me. Four of them had been here since before seven, nine being their usual time. Those who lived near together arranged that whoever woke early should go to call all the others. Every one had something for me—flowers, books, fruit; they brought me the footstool; they anticipated every want that I had. I never saw such bountiful unconscious love and attention. … I should never have done telling you how kind they are. … I began reading out to them to-day; it succeeded admirably. I only wish I knew more people to do it. I can only give them three hours in a week, and that only during the autumn.


August 5th.

I do not know what you will say to me, dear Miss Harrison, for not sending this letter, but I have been very busy and much excited.

I have been, since I wrote it, to Mr. Ruskin's for the third time. But still it is a very wonderful event for me; and, I think, always will be; for not only is everything which he says precious—all opening new fields of thought and lighting them,—but also his