Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/90

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70
CHAP.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

games, sea's rough, hunt the slipper, old coach, frog in the middle, blind man's buff, &c. The children must all have tea before they come. Fortunately there is no ice to break. We all know one another. Andy is going to write a little play for them to act; and I shall teach them it during work. This is a great delight to them. Another thing which I anticipate great pleasure from is dancing. They will enjoy it much. Really the spirit shown has been beautiful. One of the girls has asked her mother to make a cake and send it. One great distress is that some of them have nothing but heavy boots, and so will not be able to dance. Poor little things! I wish I could do for them all which I have it in my heart to do. It will be a strange party; there will be no hostess; or rather, we shall all be hostesses. Each will have contributed what she could. Another thing which I mean to do, if I find it possible without bringing ourselves into bondage, is to ask for contributions from the richer members of the Guild. I am sure it will do both them and us good. But I trust to show to others and to myself, how much of what is precious in a party is entirely independent of any expenditure, and eating; how possible it is to have much fellowship and gaiety without large outlay of money. I have renounced parties myself. There is no longer any pleasure to be found in them, which may not be found better elsewhere. This love of immense gatherings is unmeaning. The love of show is detestable. There is no time for conversation, no place for affection, no purpose in them, or none which I can understand. And yet I do feel that this party will be a very nice one. I do believe it will succeed. I have renounced parties, above all I have renounced Christmas parties. It is now certainly a time for rejoicing. I believe it;